Decoding The Ethics Code, Ch. 2. - Academia Essay Writers

Decoding The Ethics Code, Ch. 2.

Decoding The Ethics Code, Ch. 2.

Decoding The Ethics Code, Ch. 2.

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USING WORDS TO SHARE REALITY. 6

CHAPTER 2

The Introduction and

Applicability Section,

Preamble, and

General Principles

What Do They Mean?

Psychologists are committed to increasing scientific and professional

knowledge of behavior and people’s understanding of themselves and

others and to the use of such knowledge to improve the condition of

individuals, organizations, and society. Psychologists respect and protect

civil and human rights and the central importance of freedom of

inquiry and expression in research, teaching, and publication. They

strive to help the public in developing informed judgments and choices

concerning human behavior.

—Ethical Principles of Psychologists and

Code of Conduct (APA, 2010c)

The 2010 Ethics Code begins with the Introduction and Applicability section,

followed by the Preamble and a set of five General Principles that

reflect the underlying values and ideals of the discipline.

The remainder of the code is composed of 151 enforceable standards that

describe required, prohibited, and permitted behaviors. This chapter highlights the

implications for ethical conduct of the Introduction and Applicability section,

Preamble, and General Principles. Readers can refer to Appendix A where the full

text of the Ethics Code is provided.

FOR THE USE OF UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX STUDENTS AND FACULTY ONLY.

NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION, SALE, OR REPRINTING.

ANY AND ALL UNAUTHORIZED USE IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

Copyright © 2013 by SAGE Publications, Inc.

16——PART I INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

Understanding the Introduction and

Applicability Section and the Preamble

To Whom Does the Ethics Code Apply?

Membership in the APA commits members and student affiliates to comply with

the standards of the Ethics Code. Many psychology programs adopt the Ethics

Code into its faculty and student policies.

To What Does the Ethics Code Apply?

The answer to this question is all activities, all persons, all settings, and all communication

contexts that are conducted, encountered, or used in one’s role as a

psychologist.

Activities include, but are not limited to, clinical, counseling, and school practice;

research; teaching and supervision; public service and policy development;

program design, implementation, and evaluation; construction,

administration, and interpretation of assessment instruments; organizational

consulting; forensic activities; and administration.

Persons include individual clients/patients, research participants, and students;

children and adults of all ages; individuals with or without mental disorders;

individuals with disabilities; persons from diverse cultural and language backgrounds

and different sexual orientations; individuals within families, groups,

and organizations; attorneys; and other professionals.

Settings include military bases, schools, research laboratories, universities, private

or group practice offices, business organizations, hospitals, managed care

companies, the courts, private and public social services programs, government

agencies, and public spaces where research or intervention is carried out.

Communication contexts include research, consultation, and the delivery of

services in person or through postal, telephone, fax, Internet, television, radio,

and other electronic transmissions.

Psychologists should be aware that the Introduction and Applicability section

clearly states that lack of awareness or misunderstanding of any part of the Ethics

Code is not itself a defense to a charge of unethical conduct.

Professional Versus Personal Activities

The Ethics Code applies only to psychologists’ activities that are part of their

scientific, educational, professional, or consulting roles. The code does not apply

to the purely private conduct of psychologists, although the APA may take action

against a member after his or her conviction of a felony, whether or not it directly

resulted from activities performed in the member’s role as a psychologist.

FOR THE USE OF UNIVERSITY OF PHOENIX STUDENTS AND FACULTY ONLY.

NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION, SALE, OR REPRINTING.

ANY AND ALL UNAUTHORIZED USE IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.

Copyright © 2013 by SAGE Publications, Inc.

Chapter 2 The Introduction and Applicability Section, Preamble, and General Principles——17

In some situations, distinctions between professional and personal activities

may appear ambiguous. For example, if a psychology professor has a personal web

page that includes racist comments, will these comments be relevant to his professional

role if some of his students have access to this page? If a counseling psychologist

criticizes the professionalism of a school psychologist during a parent

meeting at her children’s school, will other parents perceive her statements as at

least partially professional? Pipes, Holstein, and Aguirre (2005) suggest some questions

that may help psychologists determine when their personal actions are tilting

toward their role as a psychologist and thus subject to the Ethics Code:

Is the behavior linked to a role played by psychologists?

Does the behavior, on its face, seem at least partially professional?

Is there a high probability that those with whom the psychologist works will

be affected?

Does the action threaten the professional credibility of the psychologist or the

discipline of psychology?

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