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Term 3 Essay

834 words - 4 pages

Ethics Awareness Inventory


In the field of psychology, an Ethics Code was put into place by the American Psychological Association (APA) to serve as a guide to professional behavior for those who work in the field of psychology (Plante, 2011). This paper will address the importance of ethics in psychology, how ethics are applied, the effects of ethics on the field of psychology and the advantages of psychology as a career choice.

The Importance of Ethics

Ethics are crucial in the field of psychology in order to protect the profession and the public. First of all, the Ethics Code protects patients in several ways, such as ...view middle of the document...

This conundrum is evident as it pertains to court cases that a psychologist is involved in. For example, a psychologist is called to complete a psychological evaluation for the courts. This psychologist is then called to testify as to the results of this evaluation, as well as his or her opinion regarding the accused and his or her state of mind. The Ethics Code states that the psychologist must maintain confidentiality unless consent is given by the client (Plante, 2011). However, if the client refuses consent and the judge orders that the psychologist answer, he or she has only two options. These include breaking the Ethics Code or breaking the law. The best thing to do in this situation for the psychology professional is to speak with the judge and explain his or her obligations as it pertains to the Ethics Code (Plante, 2011). If the judge continues to require that the psychologist answer, the psychologist then faces penalties either from the APA for breaking confidentiality, or contempt of court for breaking the law. Another scenario regarding the effects of ethics is a psychology professional that is called upon by the United States government. The U.S. government recently called upon psychologists to assist in interviewing detainees who were suspected of potential crimes against national security (Gravitz, 2009). In this scenario, psychologists were outraged by the tactics used by the government in “interviewing” these detainees and that these tactics were considered “torture” (Gravitz, 2009). Because of this consideration, psychologists have sought to request that the APA declare their members unsuitable for such interviews (Gravitz, 2009).


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