Allow your research participant to order for you

Balancing the dilemma of ordering is overwhelming so you ask your research participant if she would choose a meal for you. This relieves you of the responsibility and may give you a unique window into how your participant perceives you but is it really ethical to give up control of a food choice during nutritional research?

What about the values at risk here?

Respect for Persons
Beneficence
Justice
My Decision
Respect for persons:
By giving your research participant the power, you show that you respect her decisions and her judgment..

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Beneficence:
This choice is of benefit in that it allows your research participant to share further thoughts about food choice, in addition to what she thinks you might like to eat. Understanding your place as a researcher can be of great benefit to the research.

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Justice:
Power differences between research participants and researchers can lead to injustice. This choice can address these power differences, giving power to the research participant and promoting social justice.

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My Decision:
While this choice held many benefits, the researcher chose to use the opportunity presented by the interview at the restaurant to share some of her own preferences and ideas with the research participant by ordering her own meal, creating a stronger relationship that proved to be valuable and rewarding as the research progressed.

What would you do?

Order a salad

By ordering a salad, you present a healthy example while being honest about what you like to eat. However, are you simply reinforcing the stereotype of the slim upper/middle class New Yorker and making your participant feel self-conscious about her choice of meal and, ultimately, compromising the research through ...

Defend this Choice!

Order the sopes con carnitas (served with cheese and cream on top)

By ordering a higher fat and culturally appropriate meal, you are showing that you enjoy and are interested in participating in the cultural practices of your research community. However, are you sending mixed messages about nutrition and encouraging your research participants to eat meals that may be less healthy ...

Defend this Choice!

Order chicken and vegetable soup with tortillas

By ordering the soup, you show that you appreciate Mexican foods and, also, that you understand that these foods can be nutritious and delicious. Chicken soup is not considered a "special" food so you show that you enjoy simple foods. But are you really being honest about yourself? ...

Defend this Choice!

Allow your research participant to order for you

Balancing the dilemma of ordering is overwhelming so you ask your research participant if she would choose a meal for you. This relieves you of the responsibility and may give you a unique window into how your participant perceives you but is it really ethical to give up control ...

Defend this Choice!

Posted in Considering in New York City, Ethical Dilemmas, Promoting Healthy Eating or Unhealthy Stereotypes?

What do you think?

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