Direkt zum Inhalt

Andrews, U. (2013). House Rules: Using the Television Series “House” to Teach Research Ethics. Communication Teacher, 27(3), 152–155. https://doi.org/10.1080/17404622.2013.782417


Research should be a necessary entity before the execution of any activity. It serves as the guiding compass to inform us of the next step for the situation at hand. As history denotes, not all conducted research is ethically sound. Yet, the influence of ethics on research is often overlooked. As noted by Stacks (2011), ‘‘Even in the three books on public relations research, ethics is minimally treated’’ (p. 103). There are many historical cases of unethical research practices such as the Tuskegee Syphilis study, the Willowbrook study, and the ‘‘Tearoom sex’’ study. These and more played an integral role in the development of the Internal Review Board (IRB). As future researchers in the social sciences, many students understand they might have to obtain IRB approval for their research, but do not perceive themselves to be involved in a study to the extent of the historical cases previously cited. Although understandable, it is imperative to provide students with a discussion on the influence of our personal ethics on our research ethics. The purpose of this exercise is to get students to relay and connect with the impact of ethics on public relations research. Students will begin to realize and analyze how their personal ethics influence their professional ethics choices. This is conceptualized through the completion of the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) course or the National Institutes of Health (NIH) course, followed by watching the House episode ‘‘Informed Consent,’’ and then discussion. An episode from the television series House is used for this exercise due to the display of conflicting ethical viewpoints, the immediate impact of those viewpoints on the patient, and the continuous dilemma between personal ethics and job employment.