The subject of research ethics in Psychology is a very thin line. In any science, research is necessary and so are subjects. Using our main three points of ethics (informed consent, deception only when necessary, and use of animals only when benefits outweigh costs), I wish to look at the subject's change over time and real world examples.
The Baby Albert study is an intriguing example dealing with ethics. Although much was learned about our human brains and how we can be trained to correlate an object with an action or emotion, the cost of the experiment was high. The mother had no knowledge of the experiment and they caused serious emotional distress to the child. Fast forward to the present day and the rules are much stricter. I took a sociology class through PSEO last year and because I was not yet 18, I was not able to complete a recommended assignment for class because you had to give consent. Even with the extra credit in this class, some opportunities are limited due to age. Although some may be frustrated with the rule, in the long run it is better for scientific experiments as a whole to keep the integrity of experimentation held to a high standard. To make sure no more Baby Albert studies occur, setting an age restriction is logical. But on the other hand, perhaps this rule keeps psychologists and scientists away from researching children due to all the logistics of experimentation. Perhaps it causes a lurking variable because those parents who would not allow their children to participate in a study could also be the exact children needed to change the data to a more accurate reflection. Although there are downsides to the stringent experimental ethics, overall the rules have made an improvement for the subjects.