While my research does involve human communication and interaction, I never thought of my research as intrusive or possibly harmful to the research subjects. But, when reading the U of T's Research Ethics Manual, something stuck out to me that made me change my mind:
"Persons may not be treated solely as a means to an end, because doing so fails to respect their intrinsic human dignity and thus impoverishes all of humanity."
Students who have not done extensive human research before, like me, might fall into the trap of using a human research subject the way we use textbooks. We take the valuable information we need and toss the book aside.
If I follow through with this research proposal, I'm going to make sure I do not make that mistake.