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The Department of Psychology has the responsibility to ensure that the rights and well-being of all animal and human participants involved in teaching and research activities are protected. To this end, all studies and related research activities are subject to approval by the appropriate ethical committee.

Human participants

All research involving human participants requires ethical approval. Research involving patients under the care of the local Health Funding Authority must be approved by the ethics committee of the Authority.

Research that does not involve patients, but that does raise one of the following issues, must be approved by the University Human Ethics Committee:

  • Collecting or using of personal information where the participants may be identified
  • Taking or handling of any form of tissue or fluid sample from humans or cadavers
  • Involving participants in any form of physical or psychological stress
  • Placing the safety of participants or researchers at risk
  • Administering or restricting food, fluid, or a drug to a participant
  • Involving children, young persons or other vulnerable individuals
  • Involving a potential conflict between the applicant's activities as a researcher and his or her interests as private individual
  • Involving a form of deception that might threaten a participant's emotional or psychological well-being

Research with human participants that does not involve any of the above considerations must be approved by the Psychology Departmental Ethics Committee.

Animal Subjects

All proposals for the use of animals in research or teaching must be submitted to the University of Otago Animal Ethics Committee.

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