Values and Science Ethical principles are based on moral values. These values set standards for and impose limits on the conduct of research, but do values affect science in other ways as well? Although many people hold science to a standard of complete objectivity, science can probably never be completely unbiased and objective because it is a human enterprise. Scientists choose what to study and how to study it; their choices are affected by personal values as well as by professional rewards. Indeed, some think that values should fuel scientific research and that scientists would be not only naive but also irresponsible to try to keep values out of the picture. Most social psychologists, however, strive to use the scientific methods described in this chapter to free themselves of their preconceptions and, thereby, to see reality more clearly and objectively, even if never perfectly.
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