Ethical Decision Making

Geoff Lindsay

in The Oxford Handbook of International Psychological Ethics

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199739165
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Ethical Decision Making

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  • History and Systems in Psychology



This chapter explores the use of ethical codes to support ethical decision making. The nature of codes is examined with reference to ethical principles, domains of practice, cultural factors, and function. Distinctions are made between using codes for developmental/educative purposes, as working to assist decision making, as a basis for regulatory bodies’ decision making, and as public statements. Three levels of complexity for decision making are proposed, from relatively automatic responses based on experience to analysis of ethical dilemmas. A model of decision making is proposed, drawing upon that of the Canadian Psychological Association. Its use is exemplified by a vignette describing decision making using the European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations’ Meta-Code of ethics.

Keywords: ethical decision making; Meta-Code of ethics; ethical dilemmas; regulation

Article.  11774 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology

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