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Flashcards in Ethics Deck (96):

Preamble and general principles

They are aspirational and non-enforceable. They provide guidelines for ethical decision-making but do not serve as a basis for disciplinary action.


General Principles

1. Beneficence and nonmaleficence
2. Fidelity and Responsibility
3. Integrity
4. Justice
5. Respect for people's rights and dignity -


Beneficence and Nonmaleficence

Psychologists strive to benefit those with whom they work and take care to do no harm. This includes research subjects (including animals), misuse of influence, and their own physical and mental health.


Fidelity and Responsibility

Psychologists establish relationships of trust with those with whom they work. They are aware of their professional and scientific responsibilities to society and to the specific communities in which they work. They are concerned about the ethical compliance of their colleagues' scientific and professional conduct. Psychologists strive to contribute a portion of their professional time for little or no compensation or personal advantage.



Psychologists seek to promote accuracy, honesty, and truthfulness in the science, teaching, and practice of psychology. In situations in which deception may be ethically justifiable to maximize benefits and minimize harm, psychologists have a serious obligation to consider the need for, the possible consequences of, and their responsibility to correct any resulting mistrust or other harmful effects that arise from the use of such techniques.



Psychologists recognize that fairness and justice entitle all persons to access to and benefit from the contributions of psychology and to equal quality in the processes, procedures, and services being conducted by psychologists.


Respect for People's Rights and Dignity

Psychologists respect the dignity and worth of all people, and the rights of individuals to privacy, confidentiality, and self-determination. Psychologists are aware that special safeguards may be necessary to protect the rights and welfare of persons or communities whose vulnerabilities impair autonomous decision making.


Misuse of Psychologists' Work

If you find out about it, take reasonable steps to correct or minimize the misuse or misrepresentation.


Conflicts Between Ethics and Law, Regulations, or Other Governing Legal Authority

Clarify the nature of the conflict and make known your commitment to the ethics code. Resolve the conflict while remaining consistent with the APA guidelines. Such a conflict CANNOT be used to justify violating human rights.


Conflicts Between Ethics and Organizational Demands

Clarify the nature of the conflict and make known your commitment to the ethics code. Resolve the conflict while remaining consistent with the APA guidelines. Such a conflict CANNOT be used to justify violating human rights.


Informal Resolution of Ethical Violations (I find out about a psychologist who is violating an ethical standard)

they attempt to resolve the issue by bringing it to the attention of that individual, if an informal resolution appears appropriate and the intervention does not violate any confidentiality rights that may be involved


Reporting Ethical Violations

If an apparent ethical violation has substantially harmed or is likely to substantially harm a person or organization then informal resolution is not appropriate. You should report the ethical violation to the the appropriate authorities UNLESS it will breach confidentiality.


Cooperating with Ethics Committees

Psychologist must cooperate with the APA and state psychological associations while addressing any confidentiality concerns. However, making a request for deferment of adjudication of an ethics complaint pending the outcome of litigation does not alone constitute noncooperation


Improper Complaints

Psychologists do not file or encourage the filing of ethics complaints that are made with reckless disregard for or willful ignorance of facts that would disprove the allegation


Unfair Discrimination Against Complainants and Respondents

Psychologists do not deny persons employment, advancement, admissions to academic or other programs, tenure, or promotion, based solely upon their having made or their being the subject of an ethics complaint.


Boundaries of Competence

1. Psychology are involved with populations within the boundaries of the competence.
2. When scientific or professional knowledge says that understanding of specific diversity factors is necessary for implementation of services, they achieve obtain that knowledge or refer out except in the case of emergencies.
3. If psychologists are providing services, teaching or conducting research in a new area they obtain necessary training before engaging in it.
4. When psychologist have to provide mental services in an area where they are not well-versed due to the services not being available otherwise (not denying services), they make a reasonable effort to obtain the competence necessary.
5. In emerging areas where standards have not been developed or preparatory training does not exist, psychologist take reasonable steps to ensure their competence and the safety of those they are working with.
6. When taking on forensic roles psychologists are or become reasonably familiar with the judicial or administrative rules governing their roles.


Providing Services in Emergencies

In the case of emergencies psychologists provide mental health services to those who are in need while making a reasonable effort to obtain competence. As soon as the emergency has ended or services become available, your services should end.


Maintaining Competence

Psychologists undertake ongoing efforts to develop and maintain their competence.


Bases for Scientific and Professional Judgments

Psychologists' work is based upon established scientific and professional knowledge of the discipline


Delegation of Work to Others

1. avoid delegating such work to persons who have a multiple relationship with those being served.
2. authorize only those responsibilities that such persons can be expected to perform competently
3. see that such persons perform these services competently.


Personal Problems and Conflicts

1. Refrain from starting an activity that will prevent you from performing competently due to a personal problem.
2. When you become aware of a personal problem is interfering with work seek consultation or assistance to see if you limit, suspend, or terminate work.


Unfair Discrimination

We do not engage in unfair discrimination based on diversity factors.


Sexual Harassment

Psychologists do not engage in sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is sexual solicitation, physical advances, or verbal or nonverbal conduct that is sexual in nature, that occurs in connection with the psychologist's activities or roles as a psychologist that is unwelcome or abusive.


Other Harassment

Psychologists do not knowingly engage in behavior that is harassing or demeaning to persons with whom they interact in their work based on any factor.


Avoiding Harm

1. Psychologists take reasonable steps to avoid harming their clients/patients, students, supervisees, research participants, organizational clients, and others with whom they work, and to minimize harm where it is foreseeable and unavoidable.
2. Psychologists do not participate in, facilitate, assist, or otherwise engage in torture, defined as any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person, or in any other cruel, inhuman, or degrading behavior that violates 3.04(1).


Multiple Relationships

A multiple relationship occurs when (1) you have more than 1 role with a person, (2) are in a relationship with a person associated/related to your patient, (3) promises to enter a relationship in the future.

Refrain from these relationship if it impairs objectivity, competence, or effectiveness, or could harm the person.

Multiple relationships that do impair/harm are not unethical as long as (1) the psychologist resolves issues if unforseen harm/impairment in the best interest of the patient, (2) and when they serve in more than one role in judicial or administrative proceedings, at the outset they clarify role expectations and the extent of confidentiality .


Conflict of interest

Psychologists refrain from taking on a professional role when personal, scientific, professional, legal, financial, or other interests or relationships to (1) impair their objectivity, competence, or effectiveness in performing their functions as psychologists or (2) expose the person or organization with whom the professional relationship exists to harm or exploitation.


Third-Party Requests for Services

When providing services at the request of a third party describe the nature of the relationship including:
1. The role of the psychologist
2. Who the client is.
3. Limits of confidentiality


Exploitative Relationships

Psychologists do not exploit persons over whom they have supervisory, evaluative or other authority such as clients/patients, students, supervisees, research participants, and employees.


Cooperation with Other Professionals

When indicated and professionally appropriate, psychologists cooperate with other professionals in order to serve their clients/patients effectively and appropriately.


Informed Consent

1. obtain the informed consent of the individual or individuals using language that is reasonably understandable to that person or persons EXCEPT when conducting such activities without consent is mandated by law or governmental regulation
2. For persons who are legally incapable of giving informed consent, psychologists nevertheless (1) provide an appropriate explanation, (2) seek the individual's assent, (3) consider such persons' preferences and best interests, and (4) obtain appropriate permission from a legally authorized person,
3. When psychological services are court ordered or otherwise mandated, psychologists inform the individual of the nature of the anticipated services, including whether the services are court ordered or mandated and any limits of confidentiality
4. Psychologists appropriately document written or oral consent, permission, and assent.


Psychological Services Delivered to or Through Organizations

Tell all clients the following:

1. the objectives of therapy
2. intended recipients
3. who the clients are
4. the relationship the psychologist will have with each person and the organization.
5. how services/information will be used
6. who will have access to information.
7. limits of confidentiality

If you can't give people any of this information let them know ahead of time.


Interruption of Psychological Services

Make reasonable efforts to plan for how to have your patients continue receiving services even if services are interrupted by unforeseen circumstances.


Maintaining Confidentiality

Psychologists have a primary obligation and take reasonable precautions to protect confidential information obtained through or stored in any medium


Discussing the Limits of Confidentiality

Discuss the (1) limits of confidentiality and (2) potential uses of information with everyone you work with including those incapable of giving informed consent and legal representatives to the greatest degree possible.

A. Discuss this at the beginning of the relationship unless contraindicated.

B. Discuss the limits of confidentiality w/ electronic transmissions.



You must obtain permission before recording.


Minimizing Intrusions on Privacy

A) In communication only discuss things that are germane to the type of communication you are involved in.

B) Only discuss confidential information that is clearly indicated for professional/scientific use.



A) You may disclose confidential information if you have the appropriate consent.

B) Only disclose confidential information w/out consent when mandated by law or when it is permitted by law for a specific purpose such as keep the client/psychologist safe, consult, receive payment (disclose as little as possible).



(1) do not disclose confidential information with colleagues that could lead to the patient's identification unless prior consent has been obtained or its unavoidable.
(2) Only disclose tot he extent necessary.


Use of Confidential Information for Didactic or Other Purposes

No identifiable information is disclosed unless:
1) you disguise the person/organization
2) you obtain consent to do so
3) you have legal authorization


Avoidance of False or Deceptive Statements

Essentially, psychologist do not give deceptive information in any instance (professional credential / policies or otherwise). Only list degrees that were obtained for a regionally accredited institution or were the basis of licensure.


Statements by Others

(1) take responsibility for engaging other to promote your practice/research.
(2) DO NOT compensate press/news/radio employees to publicize your work.
(3) A paid advertisement of the psychologist must clearly be identified as such.


Descriptions of Workshops and Non-Degree-Granting Educational Programs

Accurately describe the audience for which the program is intended, the educational objectives, the presenters, and the fees involved.


Media Presentations

(1) discuss things you know about
(2) do it consistently with the ethics code
(3) do not act as if a professional relationship has been established the audience.



Psychologists do not solicit testimonials from current therapy clients/patients or other persons who because of their particular circumstances are vulnerable to undue influence.


In-Person Solicitation

Do not engage in uninvited solicitation of current or potential clients because of vulnerability of undue influence. Howitzer this does not preclude.
(1) engaging in collateral contacts to benefit current patients.
(2) providing community or disaster relief services


Documentation of Professional and Scientific Work and Maintenance of Records

We document to:
(1) facilitate provision of services later by them or by other professionals, (2) allow for replication of research design and analyses, (3) meet institutional requirements, (4) ensure accuracy of billing and payments, and (5) ensure compliance with law.


Maintenance, Dissemination, and Disposal of Confidential Records of Professional and Scientific Work

1. Psychologists maintain confidentiality in creating, storing, accessing, transferring, and disposing of records
2. If you are entering client information into a system where other people are able to see their information even though they are not consented, the psychologist uses coding to avoid personal identifiers.
3. Psychologists make plans in advance to facilitate the appropriate transfer and to protect the confidentiality of records and data in the event of psychologists' withdrawal from positions or practice


Withholding Records for Nonpayment

Psychologists may not withhold records under their control that are requested and needed for a client's/patient's emergency treatment solely because payment has not been received.


Fees and Financial Arrangements

1. Discuss financial agreements early in the relationship
2. Fees should be consistent with the law
3. Do not misrepresent your fees
4. If limits of services will be encountered to limited finances, this should be discussed as early as possible.
5. If you are going to use a collection services let the person know before sending over to collection agencies and allow them the opportunity prompt payment.


Barter with Clients/Patients

Barter is the acceptance of goods, services, or other nonmonetary remuneration from clients/patients in return for psychological services. Psychologists may barter only if (1) it is not clinically contraindicated, and (2) the resulting arrangement is not exploitative.


Accuracy in Reports to Payors and Funding Sources

Be accurate!


Referrals and Fees

Payment is based on the services provided (clinical, consultative, administrative, or other) and is not based on the referral itself.


Design of Education and Training Programs

Psychologists responsible for education and training programs take reasonable steps to ensure that the programs are designed to provide the appropriate knowledge and proper experiences, and to meet the requirements for licensure, certification, or other goals for which claims are made by the program.


Descriptions of Education and Training Programs

Psychologists responsible for education and training programs take reasonable steps to ensure that there is a current and accurate description of the program content. This information must be made readily available to all interested parties.


Accuracy in Teaching

1. Psychologists take reasonable steps to ensure that course syllabi are accurate regarding the subject matter to be covered, bases for evaluating progress, and the nature of course experiences. However, you can modify the course as long as people are notified.
2. When engaged in teaching or training, psychologists present psychological information accurately.


Student Disclosure of Personal Information

Psychologists do not require students or supervisees to disclose personal information in course- or program-related activities, either orally or in writing, regarding sexual history, history of abuse and neglect, psychological treatment, and relationships with parents, peers, and spouses or significant others except if (1) the program or training facility has clearly identified this requirement in its admissions and program materials or (2) the information is necessary to evaluate or obtain assistance for students whose personal problems could reasonably be judged to be preventing them from performing their training- or professionally related activities in a competent manner or posing a threat to the students or others.


Mandatory Individual or Group Therapy

1. Allow students in undergraduate and graduate programs the option of selecting such therapy from practitioners unaffiliated with the program.
2. Faculty who are or are likely to be responsible for evaluating students' academic performance do not themselves provide that therapy.


Assessing Student and Supervisee Performance

1. In academic and supervisory relationships, psychologists establish a timely and specific process for providing feedback to students and supervisees. I
2. Psychologists evaluate students and supervisees on the basis of their actual performance on relevant and established program requirements.


Sexual Relationships with Students and Supervisees

Psychologists do not engage in sexual relationships with students or supervisees who are in their department, agency, or training center or over whom psychologists have or are likely to have evaluative authority.


Institutional Approval

When institutional approval is required, psychologists provide accurate information about their research proposals and obtain approval prior to conducting the research. They conduct the research in accordance with the approved research protocol.


Informed Consent to Research

When obtaining informed consent include
1. purpose/duration/procedures
2. right to withdraw
3. foreseeable consequences of withdrawal.
4. potential risks, discomfort, or adverse effects
5. any prospective research benefits
6. limits of confidentiality
7. incentives for participation
8. whom to contact for questions about the research and research participants' rights

Researcher needs to clarify
1. experimental nature of treatment
2. services that will/will not be available to the control group
3. how group assignments will be made
4. treatment alternatives for those who do not wish to participate
5. monetary reimbursement or cost of participation.


Informed Consent for Recording Voices and Images in Research

Obtain informed consent for recording unless
1. it is naturalistic w/out personal identifiers
2. deception is required and the participant will be debriefed at the end and consent will be obtained at that time.


Client/Patient, Student, and Subordinate Research Participants

1. take steps to protect the prospective participants from adverse consequences of declining or withdrawing from participation.
2. When research participation is a course requirement or an opportunity for extra credit, the prospective participant is given the choice of equitable alternative activities.


Dispensing with Informed Consent for Research

Psychologists may dispense with informed consent only (1) where research would not reasonably be assumed to create distress or harm and involves (a) the study of normal educational practices, curricula, or classroom management methods conducted in educational settings; (b) only anonymous questionnaires, naturalistic observations, or archival research for which disclosure of responses would not place participants at risk of criminal or civil liability or damage their financial standing, employability, or reputation, and confidentiality is protected; or (c) the study of factors related to job or organization effectiveness conducted in organizational settings for which there is no risk to participants' employability, and confidentiality is protected or (2) where otherwise permitted by law or federal or institutional regulations.


Offering Inducements for Research Participation

1. Do not offer excessive compensation that may coerce.
2. When offering professional services as an inducement for research participation, psychologists clarify the nature of the services, as well as the risks, obligations, and limitations.


Deception in Research

1. Do not engage in deception unless its scientific value justifies it.
2. Do not deceive prospective participants about research that is reasonably expected to cause physical pain or severe emotional distress
3. Explain the deception is integral to the research and do so as early as possible but no later than conclusion of data collection.
4. Allow participants to withdraw their data.



1. Provide prompt opportunity to give participants accurate information about th research.
2. If scientific/human rights justify withholding information, do your due diligence to reduce harm.
3. If you aware that research procedures have harmed a participant, they take reasonable steps to minimize the harm


Humane Care and Use of Animals in Research

1. Follow the law/ethics code
2. Properly trained research with experience working with animals should lead the work.
3. People under the lead psychologist should also have received proper training in animal care.
4. Minimize discomfort, pain, infection and illness of animals.
5. Only subject animals to pain when there is not other alternative and the scientific value justifies it.
6. Perform surgical procedures under appropriate anesthesia.
7. When an animals life is to be terminated do so as quickly as possible.


Reporting Research Results

1. Don't fabricate data
2. Correct errors with the appropriate means if you find out about them.



Psychologists do not present portions of another's work or data as their own, even if the other work or data source is cited occasionally


Publication Credit

1. Researchers only take credit for work they have done or contributed to.
2. Principal authorship or other publication credits are reflective of relative contributions . Your status does not mean that you get credit.
3. If it is based on a student's dissertation, he or she should be the principal author.


Duplicate Publication of Data

Psychologists do not publish, as original data, data that have been previously published. This does not preclude republishing data when they are accompanied by proper acknowledgment.


Sharing Research Data for Verification

A. Psychologists do not withhold the data on which their conclusions are based from other competent professionals who seek to verify the substantive claims through reanalysis as long as they
1. keep confidential information safe
2. pay the necessary costs

The deception would be if proprietary rights preclude it.

B. Psychologists who request data from other psychologists to verify the substantive claims through reanalysis may use shared data only for the declared purpose. Requesting psychologists obtain prior written agreement for all other uses of the data.



Psychologists who review material submitted for presentation, publication, grant, or research proposal review respect the confidentiality of and the proprietary rights in such information of those who submitted it.


Bases for Assessments

1. Only makes statements you can substantiate through adequate assessments.
2. If you cannot obtain adequate informations you must clarify your efforts and speak to the possible implications it may have to the reliability and validity of your conclusions.
3. After a records review, if you don't believe an evaluation is warranted, provide the rationale and evidence for why.


Use of Assessments

1. Use assessments as they were designed to be used.
2. Use instruments whose reliability and validity have been established. If you are using instruments that have not met those metrics then explain their limitations in full.
3. use assessment methods that are appropriate to an individual's language preference and competence, unless the use of an alternative language is relevant to the assessment issues


Informed Consent in Assessments

A. Obtain informed consent for assessment unless:

1. Its mandated by law
2. Informed consent is implied because it is routine educational/organizational procedures
3. Part of the testing is to assess the person's decision-making abilities.

B. For those whose consent abilities are questionable or when testing is mandated by law, explain the nature of the assessments using reasonable language.

C. If using an interpreter obtain informed consent and do what is necessary to maintain the confidentiality of test results and discuss any limitations of the discussions in your reports.


Release of Test Data

1. You must release test information to those who you have been given consent to release it to unless it could lead to substantial harm or misuse. Even so this often regulated by law.

2. In the absence of a client/patient release, psychologists provide test data only as required by law or court order.


Test Construction

Psychologists who develop tests and other assessment techniques use appropriate psychometric procedures and current scientific or professional knowledge for test design, standardization, validation, reduction or elimination of bias, and recommendations for use.


Interpreting Assessment Results

Psychologist consider individual circumstances or diversity factors that might influence scores. They indicate any significant limitations of their interpretations.


Assessment by Unqualified Persons

You do not allow unqualified people to test unless it is for training purposes


Obsolete Tests and Outdated Test Results

1. Psychologists do not base their assessment or intervention decisions or recommendations on data or test results that are outdated for the current purpose.
2. Psychologists do not base such decisions or recommendations on tests and measures that are obsolete and not useful for the current purpose.


Test Scoring and Interpretation Services

1. accurately describe the purpose, norms, validity, reliability, and applications of the procedures
2. select scoring and interpretation services (including automated services) on the basis of evidence of the validity of the program and procedures as well as on other appropriate considerations.
3. Psychologists retain responsibility for the appropriate application, interpretation, and use of assessment instruments no matter whether is was automatic or otherwise.


Explaining Assessment Results

Explanations of results are given to the individual or designated representative unless the nature of the relationship precludes provision of an explanation of results (such as in some organizational consulting, preemployment or security screenings, and forensic evaluations), and this fact has been clearly explained to the person being assessed in advance.


Maintaining Test Security

Psychologists make reasonable efforts to maintain the integrity and security of test materials and other assessment techniques consistent with law and contractual obligations, and in a manner that permits adherence to this Ethics Code.


Informed Consent to Therapy

1. Do it as early as possible
2. When an intervention is being delivered w/out clear evidence, the limits of treatment, and risks are explained in full.
3. Let the client know if you are being trained as part of the informed consent and who your supervisor is.


Therapy Involving Couples or Families

A. From the outset clarify who the patients are and the relationship the psychologist will have with each.
B. If you find yourself in conflicting roles (e.g., family therapist and witness for divorce proceedings) clarify, modify and withdraw from roles as appropriate.


Group Therapy

When psychologists provide services to several persons in a group setting, they describe at the outset the roles and responsibilities of all parties and the limits of confidentiality.


Providing Therapy to Those Served by Others

In deciding whether to offer or provide services to those already receiving mental health services elsewhere, psychologists carefully consider the treatment issues and the potential client's/patient's welfare.


Sexual Intimacies with Current Therapy Clients/Patients

Psychologists do not engage in sexual intimacies with current therapy clients/patients.


Sexual Intimacies with Relatives or Significant Others of Current Therapy Clients/Patients

Psychologists do not engage in sexual intimacies with individuals they know to be close relatives, guardians, or significant others of current clients/patients. Psychologists do not terminate therapy to circumvent this standard.


Therapy with Former Sexual Partners

Psychologists do not accept as therapy clients/patients persons with whom they have engaged in sexual intimacies.


Sexual Intimacies with Former Therapy Clients/Patients

A. Psychologists do not engage in sexual intimacies with former clients/patients for at least two years after cessation or termination of therapy.

B. Psychologists do not engage in sexual intimacies with former clients/patients even after a two-year interval except in the most unusual circumstances. Psychologists who engage in such activity after the two years following cessation or termination of therapy and of having no sexual contact with the former client/patient bear the burden of demonstrating that there has been no exploitatio


Interruption of Therapy

Provide an orderly and appropriate resolution of responsibility for client/patient care in the event that the employment or contractual relationship ends, with paramount consideration given to the welfare of the client/patient.


Terminating Therapy

(a) Psychologists terminate therapy when it becomes reasonably clear that the client/patient no longer needs the service, is not likely to benefit, or is being harmed by continued service.
(b) Psychologists may terminate therapy when threatened or otherwise endangered by the client/patient or another person with whom the client/patient has a relationship.
(c) Except where precluded by the actions of clients/patients or third-party payors, prior to termination psychologists provide pretermination counseling and suggest alternative service providers as appropriate.