Critical Thinking Exercises

What are the main ethical issues involved in a study of working conditions for nurses at a large hospital?

You might discuss various ethical issues in relation to different ways of studying the working conditions.

See Chapter 3 of the book, in particular the section ‘Protecting the rights of participants’.


Discuss ethical challenges related to a study of income and health problems based on national registers and discuss whether, and how, such challenges could be handled.

You might discuss different challenges, and possible ways of handling each of these challenges. You might also discuss possible ethical dilemmas involved in this research.

See section ‘Big data and online research: New ethical challenges’ in Chapter 3 of the book.


Which ethical guidelines do you have to consider, and which ethical committees do you have to contact, if you are going to write a masters thesis based on a study of participation in student organizations at your university?

You might discuss ethical issues related to various ways of studying the participation and then find out which guidelines and committees are relevant for such issues. You might identify and consider the relevance of guidelines and committees in your discipline or for social science in general, and at your university or at the national level. Furthermore, you might discuss your need for ethical advice, clearance or permission and your strategies for obtaining such advice, clearance or permission.

See section ‘Ethical guidelines and ethical committees’ in Chapter 3 of the book.