Ethics in Psychology and Law: An International Perspective
School of Arts and Humanities
Some psychologists working in the psychology and law (psycholegal) field feel that the profession does not provide them with adequate ethical guidance even though the field is arguably one of the oldest and best established applied fields of psychology. The uncertainty psychologists experience most likely stems from working with colleagues whose professional ethics differs from their own while providing services to demanding people and the many moral questions associated with the administration of law. I believe psychology’s ethics does, however, provide adequate moral guidance. It has a sound historical basis, has face validity and emphasizes those social moral principles that allow psychologists to best serve individuals and society. Psychologists may nevertheless be confronted with conflicting demands because there are other norm systems that also regulate their behavior as researchers and practitioners, and they, like all people, are influenced by their conscience. Ultimately, psychologists working in the psycholegal field will be best served if they have good knowledge of, and have internalized, the ethical principles of psychology.