What does ethics involve?
systematising, defending and providing standards by which behaviour can be judged to be right or wrong
What is normative ethics?
the practical task of arriving at moral standards that regulate right and wrong conduct
What are the distinct approaches to ethics?
- Consequentialism – the rightness or wrongness of an act depends upon its consequences
Utilitarianism – emphasises the role of pleasure of happiness as a consequence of our actions
- Deontology (duty) – certain acts are right or wrong in themselves, not necessarily in terms of their consequences (Immanuel Kant)
Categorical imperative: ‘act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or that of another, always as an end and never as a means only’
What approach to ethics does the BPS take?
a deontological approach
What is psychological egoism (Hobbes)?
self-oriented interests ultimately motivate all human actions
What are the three different ethics coes?
- World health organisation (declaration of Helsinki)
- Guide for conducting medical research with human subjects
- BPS: code of ethics and conduct and code of human research ethics
- Guidelines for carrying out psychological research
- Institutional ethic codes
What does the code of ethics and conduct provide?
Provides framework for guiding all decision making for psychologists (in practice and research)
What are the four ethical principles of the BPS code of ethics and conduct?
What are the points of consideration to do with respect in the code of ethics and conduct?
- Privacy and confidentiality
- Communities and shared values within them
- Impacts on the broader environment – living or otherwise
- Issues of power
- Self determination
- The importance of compassionate care
What are the points of consideration to do with competence in the code of ethics and conduct?
- Possession or otherwise of appropriate skills and care needed to serve persons and peoples
- The limits of their competence and the potential need to refer on to another professional
- Advances in the evidence base
- The need to maintain technical and practical skills
- Matters of professional ethics and decision making
- Any limitations to their competence to practice taking mitigating actions if necessary
- Caution in making knowledge claims
What are the points of consideration to do with responsibility in the code of ethics and conduct?
- Professional accountability
- Responsible use of their knowledge and skills
- Respect for the welfare of human, non-humans and the living world
- Potentially competing duties
What are the points of consideration to do with integrity in the code of ethics and conduct?
- Honesty, openness and candour
- Accurate unbiased representation
- Avoidance of exploitation and conflicts of interest (including self interest)
- Maintaining personal and professional boundaries
- Addressing misconduct
What are the principles in the BPS code of human research ethics?
- respect for the autonomy and dignity of persons
- Scientific value
- Social responsibility
- maximising benefit and minimising harm
What are the ethical standards to do with respect for the autonomy and dignity of persons in the BPS code of human research ethics?
Inform of nature of research
Avoid discriminatory practices
Ensure self-determination (protect against coercion)
What are the ethical standards to do with scientific values in the BPS code of human research ethics?
Accountability for research quality
Research question influential to society in some way
What are the ethical standards to do with social responsibility in the BPS code of human research ethics?
Purpose of research
Awareness of outcomes (predicted and unexpected)