Thursday, December 13, 2012
What guidelines should be applied to the evaluation of psychological research and practices? What ethical dilemmas might arise in psychological research and how might they be avoided?
Guidelines set forth by the American Psychological Association's (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct or Ethics Code should be applied to the evaluation of psychological research and practices. The five general principles are beneficence and nonmaleficence, fidelity and responsibility, integrity, justice, and respect for people's rights and dignity. The purpose of the five general principles is a means of guidance and inspiration for psychologists toward the very highest ethical ideals of the profession ("American Psychological Association", 2012). By following set guidelines psychological research can advance further without disrespecting a patient's dignity and rights.
Many ethical dilemmas arise in psychological research. One ethical dilemma that might arise in psychological research is when one does not follow the Hippocratic oath. For doctors that is to "do no harm," and for psychologists that is to "do no psychological harm." Any harm to or mistreatment of a patient in psychological research discredits all research results and discredits the psychologists. Another ethical dilemma is deception. Deception occurs in psychological research when one is not informed of the procedures one is undergoing nor is one informed of the goals of the psychological research. To avoid all ethical dilemmas one needs to become familiar with and abide by the American Psychological Association (APA) code of ethics.
American Psychological Association. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/redirect.html?aspxerrorpath=/ethics/code.aspx