How practitioners perceive ethics in psychology

The pilot study

Keywords: psychological ethics, ethical rules, ethical codes, ethical values, subjective ethics, psychological society


Mental health helping practices are often regulated via ethical rules. In some countries those rules are imposed via legal regulations, in others they are imposed by professional communities and are not state enforced. Surprisingly, empirical studies of ethics are somewhat limited. Also, ethics are often defined as ‘statements from the ethical codes’. However, obviously, written rules are perceived and followed by real people. So, the question is how these real people actually perceive what was designed and written as ‘norms’. The research question of this study is: how is ethics subjectively perceived by helping professionals (psychologists)? The pilot study was conducted on a sample of 89 practicing psychologists (data were collected Feb–Jun 2021) who were asked to evaluate ethical ‘norms’ from three ethical codes using 10 criteria. This showed that, after factorization, psychologists ‘divide’ norms into two groups: those protecting the wellbeing of the professional community or protecting the wellbeing of the client.


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How to Cite
Kryuchkov, K. (2023). How practitioners perceive ethics in psychology: The pilot study. Psychotherapy & Politics International, 21(1 & 2), 1-14.