Following is a short discussion of some of the most controversial issues in psychology in general, and psychotherapy, social work, and counseling in particular. Obviously, this is not a complete list. We would like to hear from you via e-mail on what you may consider additional issues that are not included in this piece. Can psychotherapists routinely waive insurance co-pays?
Knowing the obvious and not so obvious ethical pitfalls is essential, this article will help remind you of some of the issues you may come up against. As with any science, psychology relies on the collection of research to support theories or to confirm facts.
As the study of the mind and behaviour, it requires certain ethical guidelines when dealing with people as subjects. Ethical practices in psychology have changed over time.
Inat the end of the Second World War, research ethics principles for human experimentation known as the Nuremberg Code were set as a result of human experiments in concentration camps.
Combined with the Declaration of Genevathese principles became the Declaration of Helsinki, the current cornerstone document on human research ethics. The purpose of these representative bodies is to protect research subjects and researchers alike.
Whilst there are differences in the details between the two sets of guidelines, they share many important features. Here are some examples of ethical issues in psychology: Informed Consent This is one of the most important issues in psychological research.
Whenever it is possible, researchers must explain as far as possible the nature of their research and obtain the unpressured consent of participants who understand it. Reasonable explanations could include the purpose of the research, the type of information to be collected, methods of collection, confidentiality conditions, time commitments, risks and so on.
Normally, this is possible.
In this case, people with similar properties to the potential participant are asked for their feelings about taking part and consent can be assumed based on a consensus.
One criticism of presumptive consent is that there can be a disparity between how people think they would feel during a project and how they actually feel during that project.
In this study, participants thought they were giving electric shocks to people who provided incorrect answers to certain questions. Milgram deliberately misled participants about the aims and methods of the research he was conducting although deception also covers failure to disclose full information about a project.
Because deception is now an issue under the spotlight, this would lead many to argue that his experiment was not ethical. Some researchers argue that it is never justifiable to use deception in psychological research as it can cause distress and make people distrustful about the profession and its methods.
There are, however, some types of research that require deception in order to make that research valid. If, as Milgram argued, deception can be used, there are conditions; the deception must be as minor as possible, it must not cause distress and the true nature of the project must be revealed as early as possible.
Confidentiality In modern research, social injury i. The risk of psychological harm is real; a participant could be embarrassed or face consequences upon the revelation of information about their intelligence or political affiliation to an employer, for example.
In most circumstances, information obtained from participants must be kept anonymous and names must not be used in stored information. No one should be able to identify participants from results.
However, there can be exceptions to this rule. For example, what should a psychologist do if a client describes abusive behaviour towards their children?
In this case, the psychologist has legal authority to inform social services. This creates a grey area in which a psychologist must decide whether or not to disclose information and therefore breach confidentiality guidelines.
Right to Withdraw Just as participants have a right to confidentiality, they also have the right to withdraw from a project at any time, for any reason. There should be no pressurisation on participants to continue. Similarly, participants also reserve the right to have their personal data destroyed.
This is another principle from which Milgram diverged in his obedience experiment. The experiment requires that you continue 3. It is absolutely essential that you continue 4. You have no other choice, you must go on If the participant still wished to stop after all four successive verbal prods, the experiment was stopped.
Otherwise, it was stopped after the subject had given the maximum volt shock three times in succession. In this case, there was very clear pressure placed on participants to continue the study. Today, this would be deemed unethical.
A debrief should include an opportunity for the participant to ask questions or to voice opinions, either positive or negative, about the project. In the code of ethics and conduct, an example is given: As was said previously, the debrief is also an opportunity for the researcher to inform participants of any deception and to give reasons for that deception see above.
According to Ben Harris in Key Words:Business Computer Education Language Medicine Psychology Reference Science See All > Section I Contemporary Issues: The Context for Counseling Practice. Chapter 1 Social Forces and Counseling: Impact on Practice and Preparation Chapter 6 Ethical Challenges to Counseling Practice.
Christopher Lucies, Ed.D. Posts about Contemporary Ethical Issues written by Ethics and Society.
Psychology Research Ethics. Saul McLeod, published , updated Some of the more important ethical issues are as follows: Informed Consent. Undergraduate Ethics and Psychology Essay Ethical Issues Planning Research MIT Psychology Ethics Lecture Slides Hedgehogs, Author: Saul Mcleod. A GENERAL CONCERN FOR ETHICAL PRACTICE: The issues outlined here provide a broad outline of ethical practice in psychology.
Specific courses will elaborate on these issues and help you identify situations in which they apply. View Case Study from PSYCHOLOGY PSY at Grand Canyon University. PSY Contemporary and Ethical Issues in Psychology Handling Disparate Information Directions: In a minimum of 50 words, for each%(13).
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