Ethical Standards and Codes
Jamaica R. Webster
Survey of Professional Psychology/PSYCH 545
March 21, 2010
Dr. Mary Helen McGreevy, Psy.D
This paper will prepare an explanation of ethical standards and codes. Ethics is a word that can be described or defined with a variety of meanings. This paper will analyze the impact of societal norms on the development of ethical standards and codes. This paper will also evaluate the impact of the American Psychological Association’s (APA) ethical standards and codes on professional practice in the field of psychology. This paper will also explain the importance of professional ethical standards and codes in the field of psychology.
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Ethical standards have limitations and guidelines that must be followed at all times. These standards have been put in effect to protect the privacy of the clients and the information is not to be shared with anyone outside of the company.
In the field of psychology, psychologists are overseen by ethical standards and codes to assist one in making ethical decisions as well as protecting the rights of individuals in which he or she is servicing. When one properly adheres to these ethical standards and codes, he or she can protect the clients from negligence, immoral practitioners, and incompetency. One must remain fair, firm, and consistent with his or her clients at all times. If one focuses on a sense of help for the community and remain professional at all times, he or she will protect him or herself as well as the client.
Impact of Societal Norms on the Development of Ethical Standards and Codes
To understand the impact of social norms on the development of ethical standards and codes, readers must first define what are social norms are. Social norms are well known and usual rules of behavior that influence our interactions with others. They are described as particular ways of interacting, respecting other’s property, and behaving in the community that, over time, becomes established as a rule, and stays in force because we prefer to conform to the social norm with the expectation that others have accepted and conformed also (Durlauf, n.d.). A variety of factors are considered societal norms, including property rights, contracts, public behavior, forms of communication, and concepts of justice. These norms are viewed by members of the society as important rules that keep respect and equality within the community. This is similar to the goals of ethical standards and codes. Standards and codes are created to establish a rule of basis that all members can equally follow. They also are used to hold accountability for those who do not follow them and violate established norms. Norms are the construct of social order (Durlauf, n.d.). They shape our obligation for acceptable behaviors, actions, and treatment of family and other members of the community. The importance of acknowledging and adhering to societal norms are important if a person wants to be an accepted member of a society. It is important to realize that following the established standards and codes are similar to following the societal norms because in a sense, they are the same thing. The impact that societal norms have on the development of ethical standards and codes is that they are the foundation that members follow to maintain accountability, respect, and positive communication between each other and the foundation of the development and purpose of standards and codes.
Impact of APA Ethical Standards and Codes on Psychology
Psychologists are required to be conscious of their individual philosophical attitude with respect to other...