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PSYCHOLOGICAL ETHICAL STANDARDS

Psychology issues. M., 1990, No. 5, S. 158-161.

General principles

Point 5. The activity of a psychologist is aimed at achieving such humanitarian and social goals as well-being, health, high quality of life, the full development of individuals and groups in various formations of individual and social life. Since the psychologist is not the only professional whose activities are aimed at achieving these goals, exchange and cooperation with representatives of other professions are desirable and in some cases necessary, without any prejudice with respect to the competence and knowledge of any of them.

Point 6. Psychology as a profession is governed by principles common to all professional ethics: respect for the individual, protection of human rights, sense of responsibility, honesty and sincerity towards the client, prudence in the application of tools and procedures, professional competence, firmness in achieving the goal of intervention and its scientific basis.

Point 7. Psychologists should not participate or contribute to the development of methods against the individual’s freedom and his physical or psychological integrity. Direct development or assistance in the implementation of torture or bullying, in addition to being a crime, is the most serious violation of the professional ethics of psychologists. They shall not, in any capacity, nor as researchers, nor as assistants or accomplices, take part in torture or any other cruel, inhuman or degrading action, no matter who their object is, whatever charges or suspicions are raised against this person and whatever information could be obtained from him in this way in conditions of military conflict, civil war, revolution, terrorist acts or any other circumstances that could be construed as justification for such actions.

Paragraph 8. All psychologists should at least inform their professional associations about human rights violations, bullying, cruelty, inhumane or degrading conditions of imprisonment, no matter who their victim is, and about any such case that has become known to them in their professional practice.

Paragraph 9. Psychologists must respect the religious and moral beliefs of their clients and take them into account when interviewing necessary for professional intervention.

Paragraph 10. When providing assistance, psychologists should not discriminate on the basis of origin, age, racial and social origin, gender, religion, ideology, nationality or any other differences.

Item II. Psychologists should not use the power or superiority in relation to the client that their profession gives to profit or gain advantages for themselves and for third parties.

Paragraph 12. In particular, in written documents, psychologists should be extremely careful, restrained and critical of their concepts and conclusions, given the possibility of their perception as derogatory and discriminatory, for example, normal - abnormal, adapted - unadapted, intelligent - mentally retarded.

Clause 13. Psychologists should not use manipulative procedures in order to reach certain clients, and also act in such a way as to become monopolists in their field. Psychologists working in public organizations should not use this advantage to increase their own private practice.

Paragraph 14. The psychologist should not allow the use of his name or signature by persons who are not properly qualified and trained for the illegal use of psychological methods. Psychologists must report all cases of encroachment on other people's rights that they become aware of. Useless and deceptive actions should not be covered by the qualifications of a psychologist.

Paragraph 15. In the case when the personal interests of the client conflict with the interests of the institution, the psychologist should try to perform his functions with the utmost impartiality. Appeal for help to this institution involves taking into account the interests of the client, respect and attention to him by the psychologist, who in appropriate circumstances can act as his advocate in relation to the administration of the institution.

About professional competence and relationships with other professionals

Paragraph 16. The rights and obligations of a professional psychologist are based on the principle of professional independence and autonomy, regardless of the position in a particular organization and from professionals of a higher rank and administration.

Point 17. The professional status of a psychologist is based on his abilities and qualifications necessary for the performance of his duties. The psychologist must be professionally trained and have specialization in the application of methods, tools and procedures used in this field. Part of his work is the constant maintenance of his professional knowledge and skills at a modern level,

Clause 18. The psychologist should not apply methods and procedures that have not been adequately tested in the framework of modern scientific knowledge, without prejudice to the existing variety of theories and schools. In the case of testing psychological techniques that have not yet received a scientific evaluation, clients should be fully notified in advance.

Paragraph 19. All psychological data, both the results of the examination, as well as information about the intervention and treatment, should be available only to professional psychologists, whose duties include not disclosing them among incompetent persons. Psychologists must take measures to properly store documentation.

Paragraph 20. When the interests of psychological examination or intervention require close cooperation with professionals from other fields, psychologists should ensure appropriate interaction so that it is aimed at the benefit of the psychologist and his client.


Paragraph 21. Psychological methods should not be confused - both in application and in their presentation to the public - with methods that are alien to the scientific foundations of psychology.

Paragraph 22. Without abandoning scientific criticism where it is necessary, psychologists should not discredit colleagues or representatives of other professions using the same or other scientific methods, and should show respect for those schools and areas that are scientifically and professionally competent.

Paragraph 23. The work of a psychologist is based on the right and duty to show respect (and use it) for other professionals, especially in areas that are closely related to psychology in their activities.

About the intervention

Paragraph 24. Psychologists must refuse to intervene if they are confident that their help will be used to the detriment or against the legitimate interests of individuals, groups, organizations or communities.

Paragraph 25. When intervening in relation to individuals, groups, organizations or communities, the psychologist must provide them with the necessary information about the main problems to be solved, the goals set and the methods used. In the case of minors or legally incompetent persons, parents or guardians should be informed. In any case, one should avoid manipulating individuals and strive for the development and autonomy of a particular case.

Point 26. The psychologist should strive to complete the intervention and not extend it by methods of concealing information or deceiving both in case of achievement of the set goal, and in case of impossibility of its achievement after applying available methods and means for a sufficient time. In the latter case, the individual, group, organization or community should be informed about which other psychologists or representatives of other areas of knowledge can continue the intervention.

Paragraph 27. In no case should the freedom of the client - both in relation to the cessation of intervention, and in respect of consultation with another psychologist or other specialist - be limited. Customer ability to make decisions based on sufficient information should be encouraged. The psychologist may refuse to continue the intervention if it is carried out simultaneously with another type of intervention performed by another professional,

Paragraph 28. Psychologists should not use the power that their status can give them to demand special working conditions or a fee that exceeds that accepted in ordinary circumstances.

Paragraph 29. The psychologist should not allow himself to be involved professionally in an unclear situation where his role or functions will be inappropriate or ambiguous.

Paragraph 30. Psychologists should not interfere with actions taken by other specialists.

Paragraph 31. In the event that the services of a psychologist are required for an advertising or commercial company, he must cooperate to ensure the veracity of the information and protect the interests of individuals.

Paragraph 32. Psychologists must be especially careful not to cause unreasonable expectations, which they will subsequently prove to be professionally incapable of fulfilling.

About research and education

Point 33. All psychologists, in whatever area of ​​psychology they work, should strive to contribute to the progress of science in general and psychology in particular, by conducting research and adhering to scientific approaches in their activities, as well as transferring their knowledge to students and other professionals.

Paragraph 34. When performing research, psychologists must categorically refuse actions that could lead to permanent, irreparable or unnecessary damage to the subjects. Participants in any research program must express their explicit consent to experimentation; in the case of minors or legally incompetent persons, such consent must be obtained from the parents or guardians.

Point 35. If psychological research is accompanied by any temporary damage or discomfort, such as electric shock or sensory deprivation, the researcher must first make sure that all participants in the experiments are completely free, without any extraneous pressure in any way ; no one should be allowed to participate in the experiment until the researcher is convinced that the subjects were notified of this damage in advance and gave their consent. Even in case of agreement before the experiment, the subject can decide on his further non-participation in the program at any time.

Point 36. If the experimental conditions require misinformation or deception of the subject, the psychologist must make sure that this does not cause any lasting damage to the participants in the experiment, and in any case, the experimental nature and the need for deception should be disclosed at the end of the experimental program.

Paragraph 37. Psychological research in a normal situation, both experimental and observational, should always be carried out with respect for the dignity of the individual, his beliefs, intimate situations, modesty and chastity in the study of sexual behavior, as well as in the examination of elderly, sick, prisoners i.e. people with not only certain social restrictions, but also experiencing serious human drama.

Paragraph 38. In experiments on animals, suffering, harm or discomfort, which are not absolutely necessary to achieve the stated research goal and justified from the point of view of science and human interests, should be eliminated or minimized. In animal surgery, anesthesia should be applied and necessary measures should be taken to prevent complications. Personnel directly involved in research work with animals must be guided by international standards in keeping, handling and euthanizing animals.
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