Ethical dilemmas in psychological practice : a survey of clinical psychologists.
Contributor(s)Wassenaar, Douglas Richard.
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AbstractThesis (M.A.)-University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 1997.
This study explored a sample of clinical psychologists' preferred resolutions to a series of hypothetical
ethical dilemmas and their primary reasons for these choices. The relationship of various professional
characteristics to choices and reasons was assessed. Ethical dilemmas volunteered by respondents were
analyzed. Results indicated a general lack of consistency in decision making among psychologists in
both actions taken to resolve dilemmas and reasons chosen to justify these actions. On the whole,
psychologists with different characteristics did not differ in their choice of response to ethical dilemmas
or their reasons for these choices. It is argued that diversity in professional decision making, and the
ethical dilemmas volunteered by the profession, may serve as useful indices of those ethical issues that
pose difficulties for professionals. These results are discussed in the light of similar findings and in the
context of current ethical regulations.