In this article, we report on a web-based survey of 517 qualitative researchers' perceptions of the risks inherent in qualitative unstructured interviews. Although emotions manifest during these qualitative interviews may be viewed as “natural” in the context of the types of losses experienced by the interviewees, the emotional responses cannot be identified in an Institutional Review Board (IRB) review of the proposal. The mitigation of this emotional response is, however, the responsibility of the researcher, and ethics education and short courses must include such instruction. Psychological harm to the researcher, although rare, is a possibility for which researchers must be prepared. The authors conclude by suggesting six principles of ethical conduct for qualitative researchers. These principles should be useful to IRBs and included in ethics and qualitative methods courses.
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