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Kraut, R.M., J. Olson, M. Banaji, A. Bruckman, J. Cohen, and Mick P. Couper. 2004. "Psychological Research Online: Report of Board of Scientific Affairs' Advisory Group on the Conduct of Research on the Internet." American Psychologist, 59(2): 106-117.
As the Internet has changed communication, commerce, and the distribution of information, so too it is changing psychological research. Psychologists can observe new or rare phenomena online and can do research on traditional psychological topics more efficiently, enabling them to expand the scale and scope of their research. Yet these opportunities entail risk both to research quality and to human subjects. Internet research is inherently no more risky than traditional observational, survey, or experimental methods. Yet the risks and safeguards against them will differ from those characterizing traditional research and will themselves change over time. This article describes some benefits and challenges of conducting psychological research via the Internet and offers recommendations to both researchers and institutional review boards for dealing with them