Example 1: Protecting Researchers A survey organization that is part of university is conducting survey of its undergraduates. Most of the interviewers are undergraduate females. In previous surveys of undergrads, there have been instances of male undergrads harassing female interviewers by contacting them after the interview. In the community and the university, it is relatively easy to find information about the interviewers if someone has their names. To prevent potential harm to the interviewers, the survey center director recommends that the interviewers use stage names when introducing themselves in the informed consent statement.
Example Two - Protecting the Research Participants
At the same survey organization, many interviewers also volunteer at local helping agencies. The survey center is conducting a long-term project evaluating the impact of program that helps welfare recipients to become employed. Many of the program participants receive help from multiple agencies. Over time, the long-term interviewers found they met the program participants in their volunteer activities. Many research participants would recognize the interviewers names. In many cases, the interviewers felt the program participants were embarrassed to find that interviewer knew about their participation in the program. To prevent this embarrassment, some interviewers used stage names when conducting interviews in that survey.
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