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Hypothetical Vignettes in Empirical Bioethics Research

Empirical Methods for Bioethics: A Primer

ISBN: 978-0-7623-1266-5, eISBN: 978-1-84950-383-9

ISSN: 1479-3709

Publication date: 5 December 2007


Hypothetical vignettes have been used as a research method in the social sciences for many years and are useful for examining and understanding ethical problems in clinical practice, research, and policy. This chapter provides an overview of the value of vignettes in empirical bioethics research, discusses how to develop and utilize vignettes when considering ethics-related research questions, and reviews strategies for evaluating psychometric properties. We provide examples of vignettes and how they have been used in bioethics research, and examine their relevance to advancing bioethics. The chapter concludes with the general strengths and limitations of hypothetical vignettes and how these should be considered.


Ulrich, C.M. and Ratcliffe, S.J. (2007), "Hypothetical Vignettes in Empirical Bioethics Research", Jacoby, L. and Siminoff, L.A. (Ed.) Empirical Methods for Bioethics: A Primer (Advances in Bioethics, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 161-181.



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