Research that Invites Subjects to Engage in Biased Thinking about Marginalized Groups


Research that is the focus of this policy is that which invites subjects to engage in discrimination, prejudice, and bias against marginalized or oppressed groups; research that directly invites, asks, or otherwise encourages participants to make generalizations about or evaluations of historically marginalized or oppressed groups.

Marginalized or oppressed groups are those social groups and/or communities that experience discrimination and exclusion (social, political, and/or economic) because of unequal power relationships across economic, political, social and/or cultural dimensions. These may include groups defined by race, ethnicity, social class, age, gender, sexual identity, religion, or other categories. [Adapted from the National Collaborating Centre for Determinants of Health.]

Risks are those to individual participants, such as harm caused by stimuli that may be hurtful or offensive, and/or harm to historically marginalized groups, by eliciting or affirming biased thinking in others.

Policy Statement:

Research that invites subjects to engage in biased thinking about marginalized groups is designated as a category that carries special risks.  The IRB may require researchers to minimize and mitigate those risks through informed consent, a debriefing process, and the careful selection of least-harmful research procedures.

Protocols in this category may be reviewed by an additional staff, IRB member or the full IRB.

The Campus IRB may also apply this policy to other research proposals including, but not limited to, research that involves data collected by outside collaborating partners, research requests utilizing existing data.

Implementation Guidelines:

Please review our implementation guidelines if your research will be inviting participants to engage in biased thinking about marginalized groups.


Campus IRB


Campus IRB, Campus IRB Policies