In the future, researchers will struggle less with what can be done and more with what should be done.
In the past, cost has been a dominant constraint on what researchers do. But, as you will see throughout this book, the cost of certain forms of research is plummeting. At essentially no cost, researchers can now secretly observe the behavior of millions of people, and can conduct massive experiments without the consent or even awareness of participants. In the future, therefore, researchers will struggle less with what can be done and more with what should be done. Chapter 6 will be entirely devoted to ethics, but I also integrate ethics into the other chapters as well. In the digital age, ethics will become an increasingly important consideration when researchers balance the trade-offs between various research approaches.