Additional safeguards are required to protect the well-being and safety of vulnerable participants or subjects. People with mental illnesses, pregnant women, minors, and low socioeconomic groups. A participant’s name, residential address, email address, mobile number, medical history and other identifiers may be removed. So, the additional safeguards that may be included in a social and behavioral study may include what? The removal of all direct identifiers from data. It is critical for security in social and behavioral research because any security compromise poses harm to vulnerable persons.

Additional Safeguards that May be Included in a Social and Behavioral Study may Include what?

The answer here is to remove all direct identifiers from the data as soon as possible. Now, let’s check out the different types of potential risks to participating in research. 

Types of Potential Risks to Participants in Research

There are six basic categories of potential risks to subjects.  Researchers are encouraged to take precautions to reduce any threats. The risks are:

1. Legal

Legal risks appear when research methods reveal that the subject has or might engage in any criminal activity. Either by exposing that the subject has engaged in or will participate in behavior for which the subject may be held criminally or civilly liable. Alternatively, by mandating activity for which the subject may be held criminally or civilly accountable.

  1. Risk of Confidentiality

The confidentiality of identifying information applies to all studies involving human subjects. There is no preservation unless the investigator has the subject’s specific consent to do it differently. To reduce the risk, researchers should only collect personal information that is strictly necessary for the research activity. If private information is necessary, it should be encoded as soon as possible to maintain security. Only the investigator and authorized personnel must have access to it.

  1. Social Risks

Social/economic risks include changes in interactions with others that are harmful to the person. Such as embarrassment, loss of respect for others, and labeling a subject in a way that would have bad effects. Or limiting the chances and powers that a person has as a result of relationships with others.

  1. Economic Risks

Economic risks involve payment by subjects for treatments that are not otherwise necessary. Also the loss of income or other earnings, and any other financial costs incurred as a result of involvement in research. For example, such as damage to a subject’s employability.

  1. Psychological 

Psychological risks include the emergence of negative emotional states. Such as anxiety, despair, guilt, humiliation, and loss of self-esteem, as well as altered behavior. Psychological dangers also include sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, hypnosis, deception, and mental trauma.

  1. Physical

Bodily risks include physical discomfort, pain, damage, illness, or disease by the research methodologies and processes. Physical stimuli such as loudness, electric shock, heat, cold, electric magnetic, or gravitational fields. And so on can provide a physical risk. Engaging a person in a potentially violent social context may also pose a physical risk.

Why is it Important to remove all direct identifiers from the data?

To reduce the risks associated with social-behavioural research, it is critical to remove all direct identifiers from the data as soon as possible. Throughout the research and implementation process, investigators must be aware of participant information. Participants should feel at ease accepting and declining invitations to participate.

Risk of harm in social and behavioral sciences generally fall in three categories, which are: Answer and Detail 

Answer:  Invasion of privacy, breach of confidentiality, and study procedures.

Invasion of privacy means the act of interfering with another’s individual existence without a valid reason. It might allow the individual whose security has been violated the right to sue the individual or the substance. Breach of Confidentiality, on the other hand, refers to the act of disclosing anything confidential to a third party without their consent. Lastly, in some cases, participants’ lives are in danger simply by taking part in the study. Because the study process may be such that the subject is put in danger.


Risk assessment is a complex task. In order to gain benefits and protect their subjects, researchers must adhere to the proper methods. To avoid invasions of privacy, it is critical to evaluate risk objectively as well as situationally.