There are major variations in the implementation of ethical principles in the field of psychology between human subjects and clients receiving care from psychologists. Such discrepancies generally exist in the context that ethical rules are applied to clients differently from those applied to human participants. When seeking informed consent, and when attending therapy sessions, some of the main variations emerge. Understandably, informed consent is obtained for the human subjects for testing, experimental care, and for the approval of the use in research of the participant’s recorded voices and photographs. Besides, informed consent is required in dispensing information and debriefing the participant. On the other hand, ethical standards apply differently for the clients attending counseling sessions. In this case, these standards primarily focus on providing the framework that guides the psychologists in protecting the patients from occurrences that may influence their withdrawal from active participation. As well, the standard allows the human participants that are also clients to freely select alternative activities in the course of the research and counseling process (Apa.org, 2017).
Psychology is a broad field, and in many cases, the psychologists work to assist different people in selecting the right choices, and in making only those judgments that have an impact on human behavior. Therefore, as a psychologist in the future, I would apply Principle A: Beneficence and Non-maleficence because it relates directly to my future career in the sense that it lays the foundation for all psychologists to work with the primary objective of benefiting their clients, research participants and their colleagues.
In psychological research, the second ethical requirement, competence, plays an important part in enhancing a successful research process. Ideally, this standard is effective in that it specifies the professional requirements for any psychological research activity, allows for the provision of emergency services that aid in different research procedures and outlines the basis for professionalism in making judgments. This situation also allows for the delegation of work to qualified research assistants, and finally provides a conflict resolution framework for dealing with personal problems that may arise in the course of the research process (Apa.org, 2017).
However, though competence is an important research ethic in psychology, it may not be applicable in a therapy situation since unlike in other research works, there are certain rules that must be enforced regardless of the professionalism and competence of the psychologist. For instance, the rule of intimacy prevents the psychologists from conducting therapy on their former sexual partners and also prevents intimacy with their therapy clients or the clients’ relatives during the therapy process. Therefore, the ethic of competence may not apply in a therapy situation.
Apa.org. (2017). Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (1st ed., pp. 1-25). American Psychological Association.