FEATURE10 June 2024

A sensitive issue: Why content warnings are important in market research

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When conducting sensitive research, researchers should think about how to remove, reduce or manage its risks, including considering the use of content or trigger warnings. By Julie Corney.

black and white photo of worried woman infront of laptop

Researchers have a duty to carefully consider the risks and consequences associated with their research. Research that is classed as ‘sensitive’ carries with it particular risks that need to be managed, with specific consideration given to the potential consequences of these risks. This includes risks and consequences for:

  • Individual researchers
  • Research participants
  • Individuals, groups and communities connected with the research participants or the research topic or focus
  • The reputation of MRS and its members.

To minimise the potential impact for the individuals or groups concerned, it is important that researchers undertaking sensitive research consider beforehand what potential risks may arise and to whom, and how these risks could be removed, reduced or best managed.

Learn about the subject matter

It’s important that you are not overwhelmed by the topics you are researching, as this will make it harder for participants to feel comfortable talking openly. The best way to prevent this is to familiarise yourself with the subject matter ahead of the session.

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