ETHICAL DECISION MAKING
ETHICAL DECISION MAKING
A summary of the eight steps in ethical decision-making model proposed by Bush et al. (2006)
Knapp and Vandecreek (2003) stated, “Ethics Codes of professions are, by their very nature, incomplete moral codes” (p. 7.)
Positive ethics shift from misconduct anddisciplinary action to one’s highest ethical potential (Handelsman, Knapp, ; Gottlieb, 2002).
The psychologist needs to know why some practices are unethical not askarethey ethical (Shuman ; Goldberg, 1998).
To clarify overlappingof ethical problems: ethical,legal, moral, and professional perspective problems are tobe parsed out.
These are the eight steps for ethical decision-making:
Identify the problem- distinguishbetween ethical, legal, moral, and professional perspectivesto figure outproblems or dilemmas
Consider the significance of the context and setting- appropriate and inappropriate determinations.
Identify and utilize ethical and legal resources-usesgeneral rules, a) assess the value, b) bioethical principles (Beauchamp and Childress, 2001), c) review ethics codes, d) psychologists must be familiar with jurisdictional laws that regulate, e)position statements, f) review journals, books, book chapters, G) consult colleagues, h) formalize, case by case basis.
Considerpersonal beliefs and values-understand own biases,andimpact of values.
Developworkable solutionsto the problem- complex dilemmas, pit one ethical principle against another.
Consider the potential consequences of various solutions- consequencesarepositive or negative to a solution.
Choose and implement a course of action-bestdeal with colleagues and value in timing.
Asses the outcomeand implement changes as needed-receive and respond to feedback about decisions.
A critical analysis of ethical decision-making model, analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the model in ethical decision-making.
Jones (1991) proposes ethical decision is “issue-contingent” which has a moral issue and six components:
Magnitude of consequences; total harm/benefitfrom the moral action in question.
Social consensus;the moral issue is defined as the degree of agreement that an alternative is evil or good.
Probability of effect; that the action will take place and will cause the harm/benefit expected.
Temporal immediacy; time between the present and the consequences of the moral action.
Proximity; the feeling of closeness that the moral agent has for the victims/beneficiaries of the action in question,
Concentration of effect; the moral act is definedas the “inverse function” of the number of individuals affected by a given act.
Jones (1991, p. 373) states that content validity can be claimed based on:
(“theobservation that (a) moral intensity varies from issue to issue, (b) individuals
can make judgments of moral intensity, and (c) these judgments, although often subject
to error and systemic bias, are sufficiently accurate for a person to make critical
Jones (1991)states”ethical decision-making should consider characteristicsof moral issue in and of itself.”
Ethical decision-making has its strengths and weaknesses, but there are more strengthsthan weaknesses, there is one that bothers me a bit,1.07 ImproperComplaints:
“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.”
Does this apply to other psychologists, or the client?
The eight steps of ethical decision-making and six components of ethical decisions with “issue contingent” and moral issues.
Bush, Connell, and Denney (2006)
Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct
American Psychological Association
Evaluating ethical decision-making models: a review and application
Nathan C. Whittier, Scott Williams and Todd C. Dewett
Raj Soin College of Business, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, USA
Handelsman, Knapp, ; Gottlieb, 2002.
Jones, T.M (1991), “Ethical decision making by individuals in organizations: an issue-contingent model”, Academy of Management Review, Vol. 16, pp. 366-95
Knapp and Vandecreek (2003)
Shuman ; Goldberg, 1998.