The Ethical Considerations Of Marketing Research Information Technology Essay

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

In recent years, the neural marketing, step by step into the public view, and also it makes the ethic issues to the whole public relation. Therefore, the argumentation on the neuro-marketing has been intensified. The main points of the argumentations are should the neuro-marketing be used in the public media? How to use neuro-marketing ethically; as well as protection of the rights by the researchers and so on.

These are issues we should consider for future. It is obvious that neuro-marketing research methods also worth our attention. Basically the research involved three parties which are Researcher; Respondent; Client. In the following article will discuss the ethical issues of research.

The rights and obligations of Respondent

The obligation to be truthful

"When a subject willingly consents to participate, it is generally expected that he or she will provide truthful answers. Honest cooperation is the main obligation of the respondent r subject."

(William G Zikmund, 2003, page 87)

First, the obligation in terms of the survey were asked to provide the real correct answer, of course, if the answers to these questions involves the survey of personal privacy, they have the right not to answer. If the problem does not involve personal privacy, respondent have obligation to provide the correct answer. For example, a business and want to investigate what kind of taste do the customers like. If the survey told the researchers that their favorite flavor is not related to personal privacy, then the respondents have an obligation to provide the correct answer. Respondents for other reasons can not provide false information, such as in answering questions, has been bought off by other companies and so on. Obviously respondent's information is very important, because the information will direct impact on decision-makers decision.


Respondents had a personal right to privacy; others have no right to oppose or are studying without the knowledge of their research. For example, private telephone, address, age, sex, hobbies, habits. And the researchers can not be unauthorized use of the respondent's personal information, nor can the information be used in commercial purposes. many of its respondents have all received some telephone dictation products on the investigation, these are the respondents did not know the circumstances, despite being investigated can refuse to answer questions, but this is a violation of rights and interests of respondents, cause sometimes this kind of phone call at evening. Similarly, some researchers at the time of the interview will be placed invisible camera in the room. Used for research without the knowledge of respondents in the case of behavior. Although sometimes she would tell the researchers were researchers, but the rights have been violated has become an established facts.


"In a number of situations the researcher creates a false impression by disguising the purpose of the research."

(William G Zikmund, 2003, page 88)

In this study, it will be studied to provide false information on purposes, which is deception. "Generally, such deception is justified under two conditions: 1 the researcher ensures that no physical danger or psychological harm will result from the deception, and 2 the researcher takes personal responsibility for informing the respondent of the concealment or deception after the research project ends." (William G Zikmund, 2003, page 88)

Of course, this will lead to cheating because there are two researchers who first is being, was the researchers can not provide false information on their own interests, as mentioned earlier, to, have been researchers may get some benefit taken by fraud. Of course, researchers may have been afraid to take some personal responsibility or fear of physical threat on the heart did not choose the real answer. The second is that the researchers found, researchers would have to be studied by some sort of hint. For example, in some surveys, questionnaires, will ask some of the more personal question, you have extra-marital affairs, many respondents fear that the information the public will put their adverse impact on the choice untrue answers.

The Right to be informed.

Respondents are in the know, including the specific information will be used where, and how personal information will be used, what is the purpose of this project. As well as the information will be how to save and so on.

Personal information shall not be collected by any agency unless it is needed for a lawful purpose connected with a function or activity of that agency.

Personal information can only be collected directly form the individual, unless the information is publicly available.

Individuals have a right to know that information is being collected what and why it is being collected, and who is going to access the information.

Information cannot be collected by unlawful or unfair means, and must not intrude unfairly on the individual's personal affairs.

Individuals have the right to have personal information protected against unauthorized access, misuse, loss or unauthorized modification.

People have the right of access to personal information.

Individuals have the right to check and correct personal information.

The collection agent has an obligation to ensure that information is up to date, relevant and complete.

Personal records must be returned to the individual or destroyed when they are no longer required.

Information can only be used for the purpose for which it was collected unless the individual gives consent for it to be used more widely.

Personal information cannot be passed on to anther agent, without the prior consent of the individual.

Unique identifiers cannot be assigned to individuals unless they are required to carry out lawful functions efficiently.

The rights and obligations of researchers

The researchers in the course of the research occupies an important position

The purpose of research is research

Researchers research what is the purpose? Definitely should be the research itself, there are other factors that should not be included in the inside. For example, researchers in order to obtain certain benefits from the research.


Researchers should maintain high standards to ensure that their data are accurate. Do not cut to study the course of the research can not add a personal and emotional factors that can affect the results of research. They can not because the result is very poor and unauthorized alterations to the research data, or research methods.

Misrepresentation of Research

"Research companies should not misrepresent the statistical accuracy of their data, nor should they overstate the significance of the results by altering the finding." (William G Zikmund, 2003, page 89)

This is a moral standard and is similar to the one; basically a research company or any of the researchers can not unauthorized tampering the results for some benefit. For example, a research firm to do a research for the production of soft-drink company which is the harm of soft drink for human body, assuming that the result is not good, research companies can not fake the results as what do they want to be.

Protecting the right to confidentiality of both subjects and clients

From the standpoint of professional ethics, the researchers surveyed the obligation to protect customer and information, such as customer's name address objective of the study, and the respondent's personal privacy and so on. For example, researchers did not receive client consent, the study results advertised without permission, or shared with third parties, which are violations of the customer's rights.

Dissemination of faulty conclusions

From another perspective, researchers can not be transmitted to the erroneous conclusion, which is similar to the previous point of view, that researchers were unable to alter the results for some reason. First of all to ensure the objectivity of research results, if you know is wrong the results of this would be the result of errors does not spread, because inside the reader's subconscious those researchers are always correct. So, the researchers will be to lead and incorrect.

Competing Research Proposal

Researchers were unable to advise clients who are studying the same subject, what the outcome, not to artificially modify the demerits to win the competition, are contrary to the objective of these same principles.

The Right and obligations of the client sponsor

Ethical behavior between buyer and seller.

From this perspective, the customer, when the researchers need to be taken in choosing competitive strategy, researchers can not the customer's friends or relatives chosen. Therefore, competitive bidding is required when there are other competitors. Of course, this the results also avoid the non-objectivity and non-moral.

An open relationship with research suppliers

Researchers have an obligation to provide the most objective research results for the customer, of course, also the duty of clients to support and encourage researchers to conduct an objective study. For example, to provide all the information for the researchers of the study subjects, because all of this just for research if client want to have objectivity result.


Client researchers and the respondents are obliged to respect the personal right to privacy, they do not consent will not disclose personal information because these are the most basic moral bottom line. On the other hand, under the guise of research on behalf of customers can not achieve their own goals. For example, some companies want to put their new products to market, under the guise of research on behalf of cheating customers that how good are the new product. Totally these are very immoral, because buyers will really believe that this false report to purchase new products, these are diverted to the wrong public opinion.

2. Legislative rights

There are three laws will be affected, the first personal privacy, the second Consumer Guarantees, third, and health and safety

First we need to know what is neuro-marketing "Neuromarketing is a new field of marketing that studies consumers' sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective response to marketing stimuli. Researchers use technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure changes in activity in parts of the brain, electroencephalography (EEG) to measure activity in specific regional spectra of the brain response, and/or sensors to measure changes in one's physiological state (heart rate, respiratory rate, galvanic skin response) to learn why consumers make the decisions they do, and what part of the brain is telling them to do it."

2 Legal considerations

The first neuro-marketing will affect personal privacy. In the course of a lack of moral consciousness of the researcher is likely to leak personal information such as respondents mentioned earlier, researchers moral. On the other hand, due to Nerve course of study requires respondent's brain scans to analyze the most active parts of the brain. Researchers will likely get some unexpected information, although this is not intentional. This is a serious violation of the rights of respondents. For example, researchers have played some as being involved in contacts between the Homosexual video, of course the purpose is not to identify who are homosexuals, as result the most respondents' brain is not very active, but there is a respondent's brain is very active, then the researchers will get some information that he should not get. This is infringement of personal privacy. Because respondents were not aware of circumstances occur. Of course, this only now, perhaps in the future technological development, the researchers may find more information.

(This is just an example made by Jonah, there is no any discriminatory.)

The second neuro-marketing will affect Health and safety. Simply said, the current neuro-marketing is just beginning, all the studies of neuro-marketing are not very well yet, in the course of the study can not be sure there are no side effects for the respondents. In the current technological conditions, researchers have only scanned the brains of those respondents; perhaps need further study in the future, which may pose a threat to the health of the respondents. so on the one hand, although there is no direct evidence that the neurological sciences researchers would have been the spirit of an impact, but some impact is long-term, current technology only under the condition of problem can not be discovered. If the respondent's state of mind in the future getting because abnormal neurological research, then there is no direct evidence to prove because of neurological research, it is difficult to obtain legal protection for respondents.

The third neuro-marketing will affect Consumer Guarantees

What is the neuro-marketing, simply said, is to make customers more likely to buy your product, even though another way is to let customers more quickly understand what they want. But the fact is to increase the customer desires to purchase the non-rational conditions. So the question then arises, if one day all businesses have used neuro-marketing, then, who cares about the quality of products. This is much exaggerated, but to some extent part of the business will focus from how to produce better products, to how to make better use of advertising.

All the legal considerations from

Consumer Guarantees Act 1993 No 91 (as at 01 August 2009), Public Act

Privacy Act 1993 No 28 (as at 01 December 2009), Public Act

Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 No 96 (as at 03 March 2010), Public Act

In conclusion, due to advances in technology you want to stop the neuro-marketing is not possible, so we need to introduce a law to limit neuro-marketing. Use the legal law to control the neuro-marketing, and the neuro-marketing research. So that all researchers and the respondents and the client, it will have a legal bottom line to let them know what you can do. So use the power of law to protect a code of ethics is very necessary for the future.

3 Culture issues

With the progress of human society, high-tech product research, it is the means through science and technology studies the human brain, nerves marketing methods to determine the use of Neurology driving force behind consumer choice. Neuro-marketing fundamentally changed the traditional marketing research methods. Traditional Marketing by questionnaire, interviews, behavioral experiments and other methods to obtain data on consumer's subjective judgments, while the neurological marketing tool to get through the neuroscience of consumers objective data to make marketing more scientific. The use of magnetic resonance imaging, the researchers tested those who depict the brain maps to reveal how they are advertisements or items of special react. This information can be used as a new ad campaign and brand promotion foundation. Neuromarketing around a point of view, that is, consumers choose which products and brands are almost entirely subconscious. Generally speaking, is the exploration and research customer's subconscious desire to buy? Therefore, a number of social problems naturally arise. Is a neuro-marketing is no longer using traditional marketing tools to sell their own products, then the customer can not be very sensible to choose their own most in need products. This is a cultural issue worth pondering. This is my personal human neuro-marketing at the Nou in the extent undermined the market's most fundamental principles of fair competition. Because the manufacturer will no longer focus on to how improve the quality of goods, rather than move on to how to the neuro-marketing to sell the product, the result may be beneficial to producers, however the consumers are not very favorable. Of course, by today's science is not enough to control the second people's minds, but if as the science and productivity improve and the continuous understanding of the human brain and advertising will inevitably increase the "control" of the brain of consumers in future. Here, meaning that the controls are not actually control, like hypnosis. However this still will increase the neuro-marketing autonomous behavior of human interference in future.

The second issue is how to make the public can properly treat the neuro-marketing, does not produce panic in the general population. In this highly scientific door has not yet been ripe, how to make the public more understanding of neuroscience.

The third is in the process of neuro-marketing study of how to protect the safety of respondents, as much as possible to reduce the risk of the experiment to reduce unethical research behavior. For example, in the study research may can to get the information from brain of respondents.

On the other hand, because of the development is irreversible, the same as we will not go back to the Stone Age. Since the science has generated, we should be more reasonable to make good use of this technology, further understanding of our own brains , let us more clearly what is the most wanted when we purchase. Therefore, the most critical issue is how to make rules and regulations to ensure the neuro-marketing is acceptable for culture of public also the rules and regulations provides the moral bottom line for neuro-marketing, Like many countries, restrictions on Cloning although the current portal technology is not like cloning to make a serious threat to the social and cultural. Another meaning of the legislation is a clear definition of neuro-marketing prospects, so that the moral development within the acceptable range.

4 Neuroscience in retail

I going to neuroscience to retail I personally think that neuro-marketing will be in the retail industry has a huge space for development. Because of neuro-marketing in itself is to use scientific methods to promote their products, basically to develop rules and regulations for the retail industry is very important for future. The retail industry will involve the following five points

First, researchers in neuroscience researcher can not random steal respondent's private information. Only in this way can there be legal protection for the respondents.

Secondly, the relationship between researchers and sponsors must be public; the Government has the right to a timely understanding of neurological sciences. Because, if open the relationship between sponsors and researchers, it may can a large extent to make public greater transparency in the research. On the one hand, if there is involvement of government departments, you can ensure that the research would be within the scope of morality.

Third In the course of the study of behavior of all the respondents should be informed before the experiment, and the experiment will produce side effects being researchers. Because by doing the respondents will know what exactly going to happen in the research, which may choose to continue or not.

Fourth if the advertisement related to neuro-marketing elements, such as Mental Suggestion, the retail is obliged to TV stations or other media, this neuro-marketing advertisements and so on. For this reason the greatest degree of reduction of the negative affects of neuro-marketing for social, make it easy for TV station or other media to review identification of advertising.

Fifth all of the media in advertising prior to an obligation to identify advertising and for the advertisement already marked involving nerves then need to identify and invite by experts assessed. This will ensure that viewers will not be too much psychological hint.