Ethical beliefs and behaviours among Australian psychologists’

Sullivan, Karen A. (2002) Ethical beliefs and behaviours among Australian psychologists’. Australian Psychologist, 37(2), pp. 135-141.

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A random sample of 2,100 members of the Australian Psychological Society (APS) was asked to complete a survey on ethical beliefs and behaviours. The survey, originally developed by Pope and colleagues, consisted of a list of 88 behaviours rated on a Likert scale. Participants were asked to consider specific behaviours, indicating how often they engaged in that behaviour and the extent to which they thought it was ethical. Responses from 663 psychologists were used to identify rare and common behaviours, and beliefs about the ethics of those behaviours. Results suggest there are a number of common behaviours that Australian psychologists engage in relating to rapport, and in general, these behaviours are considered to be ethical. Rare behaviours identified in this study were primarily related to engaging in sexual relationships with clients and these behaviours were typically rated as unethical. There were a number of behaviours participants found it difficult to judge in terms of ethics, mainly related to financial dealings with clients. A descriptive analysis of findings compared to previous overseas ethics surveys showed some agreement on behaviours identified as common and ethical as well as behaviours rated as difficult ethical judgments. Less agreement across studies was found for behaviors reported as "rare". Importantly, this study provides the first empirical investigation of Australian psychologists’ ethical beliefs and behaviours.

Impact and interest:

7 citations in Scopus
5 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 5756
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: ethical beliefs, psychologists, sullivan
DOI: 10.1080/00050060210001706786
ISSN: 1742-9544
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100) > Health Clinical and Counselling Psychology (170106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2002 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: First published in Australian Psychologist 37(2):pp. 135-141.
Deposited On: 08 Dec 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:36

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