Decisions in Research Review Boards: The Roles of Individual Characteristics and Communication Medium

Yushim Kim, Deirdre Hahn, David Coursey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1 Scopus citations


    This article examines how individual characteristics and choice of communication medium influence the acceptance of research proposals by institutional review boards. Lab experiments were used to assess subject decisions in simulated review board processes regarding four mock research proposals. Results indicate that participants were less likely to approve risky scientific research proposals than those with lower risk and fewer ethical issues, but still the evaluations varied. Females had less likelihood of approving risky scientific research with ethical concerns. When demographic characteristics were controlled, the visual presentation of proposals increased the odds that participants would approve high-risk scientific research. This study contributes to the review board reform debate by empirically examining how personal characteristics and communication medium influence board members' reviews of proposals.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)173-192
    Number of pages20
    JournalPublic Integrity
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - Apr 1 2012


    • communication medium
    • decision-making
    • institutional review boards
    • institutionalized ethics
    • risk
    • scientific research

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Business and International Management
    • Sociology and Political Science
    • Philosophy
    • Public Administration
    • Law


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