The institutional review board as a mirror of scientific and ethical standards

Ralph L. Rosnow, Mary Jane Rotheram-Borus, Stephen J. Ceci, Peter David Blanck, Gerald P. Koocher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Decisions by institutional review boards (IRBs) are presumed to reflect the norms and standards of the scientific community. Such criteria have shifted as changes have occurred in experimental interventions and protocols, codes of federal regulatory agencies, norms among investigators, and expectations of participants. The tension created by shifting norms and standards raises two questions: (a) Should IRBs evaluate the scientific (e.g., design) features of the proposed research, and (b) should consistent standards be expected even in areas that are in constant flux (e.g., AIDS research)? We discuss these questions and propose a mechanism to keep IRBs abreast of emergent issues and sensitized not only to the costs of doing research but also to the costs of not doing it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-826
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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