Psychologists' perceptions of an ethical code: a rapid review
This study explored psychologists’ perceptions of an ethical code using a rapid review methodology. A review of the literature identified relevant published studies on the perceptions of psychologists towards an ethical code. A qualitative research approach, more definitively, a rapid review, illuminated existing literature related to psychologists’ perceptions of an ethical code. The identified studies were subjected to inclusion and exclusion criteria and critical appraisal. Data was collected through a data extraction table and analysed through thematic synthesis. Results indicated that psychologists have different perceptions about the code of ethics and that several interconnected factors influence the interpretation of an ethical code. It appears that individual, psychological, and contextual factors may play a role in psychologists’ perceptions of an ethical code. Individual factors include conflicting personal and professional values, perception of unmet professional needs and a challenging grasp of the code of ethics. Psychological factors include the perception that the code is emotionally frustrating, problematic, and controversial because of multiple explanations and a lack of practitioner consensus regarding ethical and unethical behaviour. Contextual factors that may influence the perception of an ethical code include cultural factors, the psychologist’s age and level of education, and their professional growth throughout their career. The results indicated that personal factors could not be excluded when an ethical code is being developed, review, interpreted, and implemented. The issue of personal factors in interpreting and executing an ethical code is an intriguing and controversial yet significant one. If the debate is to be moved forward, a better understanding of psychologists’ individual perceptions of an ethical code could advance further research and inform the implementation of a professional, ethical code. Psychologists’ perceptions of an ethical code Recommendations are made to facilitate the execution and publication of additional studies to strengthen the existing body of knowledge addressing the influence of psychologists’ personal factors on interpreting and implementing an ethical code.
- Health Sciences