The NMSBA Code of Ethics (available online here) is modeled on the ICC/ESOMAR "International Code on Market and Social Research" (available onilne here). It is the first industry-specific ethics statement to address the unique issues of neuromarketing research, outlining ethical practices in 12 areas that all members of the NMSBA adopt as a condition of membership.
Article 1 identifies three core principles:
Subsequent articles address ethical issues in the following areas:
Covers principles of subject safety and honesty.
Calls for criticisms of neuromarketing projects or firms to be handled within the industry rather than publicly.
Covers principles of methodological openness, clarity, and information sharing with clients.
Requires explicit participant consent processes, voluntary participation, and full disclosure of procedures, protocols and study objectives.
Covers the collection, storage, and protection of private information.
Covers how participants must be fully briefed on all their rights as research subjects, including the right to withdraw at any time for any reason.
Requires that no research will be performed on subjects under 18 years of age without parental consent.
Requires neuromarketing vendors to disclose to clients any subcontractors used in research studies.
Covers the requirement in any public presentation of results to clearly differentiate findings from interpretations of findings.
Requires NMSBA members to commit to these ethical practices or face termination of their membership.
Requires members to show acceptance of the code by publishing it on their websites.