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Ethical standards and codes in professional psychology

By carterco Nov 18, 2013 545 Words
The American Psychological Association (APA) ethic standards and codes is driven to encourage the highest effort of psychologist to ensure public welfare, promote sound relationships with related professions, and promote the professional standing of discipline (Fisher, 2003, p. 3). The ethics codes are important to the field of psychology because it provides guidance for psychologist and sets standards for professional conduct. Its intent is so psychologist may use a standard set forth for the psychologist to ensure professional judgment, eliminate injustice or inequity, and protect the psychologist from a rigid set of rules that suddenly may be outdated. The field of psychology tends to change with the times, and societal norms. The APA has been revised more than five decades so that the ethical codes reflect the aspirations and aspects of ethical decision making within the profession of psychology. In most professions, the general principle of ethical behavior is a moral obligation to do good, and do no harm. However, in psychology it is necessary to maximize these ideals with codes as a means of evaluating efficiency. The APA has adopted aspirational principles and enforceable standards that take one of three forms. First are statements that are broadly worded to attempt to define ideals and principles of right and wrong behavior. These can be found in the General Principles section of the APA with examples describing fidelity and responsibility or integrity. Second, educational codes combine ethical principles with specific interpretations that may help professionals make informed decisions which there may be moral ambiguity. Third and finally are enforceable codes that are designed as a set of standards that specifically describe required behaviors of the professional as a basis for adjudicating grievances (Fisher, 2003, p. 5). These principles and standards are important and valuable for psychologist because they should reflect the morals and values of the profession. The integrity of the profession and the purpose of the ethics codes enhance educational and professional socialization, public trust, and an enforcement value. In addition the APA ethics codes not only help us weed out those who behaviors are unethical but also help those professionals defend themselves against ethical complaints so they can be adjudicated clearly and fairly from organizations such as licensing boards, courts, or other government agencies. In 2002 the APA revised the ethics codes calling for comments from its members. Psychologist and other members of the APA gave feedback on a broad spectrum of scientific and professional activities that they were challenged by within the existing Ethics Codes. The revision is important because the APA is listening to its members, and this aids in protecting the psychologist and the psychology field. We want the guidelines of the code of conduct to be clear as possible so we can adhere to using professional judgment, conduct ourselves without rigid rules that may become outdated, practice with the trust of the public, and apply universal standards of behavior. The codes of compliance are in-depth and analyze ethical decision making with enforceable ethical standards for everyday activities in the emerging field of psychology and its ethical challenges.

. (). Retrieved 11/07/2013, from Ethical Principles of Psychologist and Code of Conduct. (). Retrieved from Fisher (2003). A Code of Ethics for Psychology How Did We Get Here? Retrieved from

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