Risks of harm in social and behavioral sciences generally fall into three categories:
- Invasion of privacy,
- Breach of confidentiality,
- Study procedures
1: Invasion of privacy:
If the personal data of a participant is evaded without the consent of the subject, it is called an invasion of privacy.
For instance, a researcher has joined a group without showing his or her true identity; the participants will feel a threat to their personal information if the researcher identity got to disclose.
Invasion of privacy may also happen after knowing the true identity of the researcher despite assuring them; it will not happen because participants will still feel a treat to their personal information.
For instance, a researcher is working on the emotional reactions of a rape survivor by conducting meetings with a student on a particular day and a specific time in a university lab by meeting the same girl; other students may come to know the personal information of the student.
2: Breach of confidentiality:
When the personal data of the participants gets revealed outside the research circle, it is called a breach of confidentiality.
When the personal data of the participants got released through an unauthorized source, confidentiality may get compromised.
For instance, continuing the above example, if the personal data or the identity of the rape survivor got revealed in public, it will increase the psychological problems of the student.
3: Study procedures:
Sometimes being part of the research can risk the subject.
For instance, if a researcher is conducting interviews with a group, the researcher must set the meeting with individual members in such a location where the other members of the group could not know about their interaction.