CANADIAN CODE OF ETHICS FOR PSYCHOLOGISTS
Copyright (1995) Canadian Psychological Association
Typeset version available from CPA by mail.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Structure and Derivation of Code
When Principles Conflict
The Ethical Decision-Making Process
Uses of the code
Responsibility of the Individual Psychologist
Relationship of Code to Personal Behaviour
Relationship of Code to Provincial Regulatory Bodies
Definition of Terms
PRINCIPLE I: RESPECT FOR THE DIGNITY OF PERSONS
Freedom of Consent
Fair Treatment/Due Process
PRINCIPLE II: RESPONSIBLE CARING
Competence and Self-Knowledge
Care of Animals
PRINCIPLE III: INTEGRITY IN RELATIONSHIPS
Objectivity/Lack of Bias
Avoidance of Deception
Avoidance of Conflict of Interest
Reliance on the Discipline
PRINCIPLE IV: RESPONSIBILITY TO SOCIETY
Development of Knowledge
Respect for Society
Development of Society
CANADIAN CODE OF ETHICS FOR PSYCHOLOGISTS
Every discipline that has relatively autonomous control over
its entry requirements, training, development of knowledge,
standards, methods, and practices does so only within the context
of a contract with the society in which it functions. This social
contract is based on attitudes of mutual respect and trust, with
society granting support for the autonomy of a discipline in
exchange for a commitment by the discipline to do everything it
can to assure that its members act ethically in conducting the
affairs of the discipline within society; in particular, a
commitment to try to assure that each member will place the
welfare of the society and individual members of that society
above the welfare of the discipline and its own members.
The Canadian Psychological Association recognizes its
responsibility to help assure ethical behaviour and attitudes on
the part of psychologists. Attempts to assure ethical behaviour
and attitudes include articulating ethical principles, values and
standards; promoting those principles, values, and standards
through education, peer modelling, and consultation; developing
and implementing methods to help psychologists monitor the ethics
of their behaviour and attitudes; adjudicating complaints of
unethical behaviour; and, taking corrective action when
warranted. This Code articulates ethical principles, values,
and standards to guide all members of the Canadian Psychological
Association, whether scientists, practitioners, or scientist
practitioners, or whether acting in a research, direct service,
teaching, student, administrative, supervisory, consultative,
peer review, editorial, expert witness, social policy, or any
other role related to the discipline of psychology.
STRUCTURE AND DERIVATION OF CODE
Structure. Four ethical principles, to be considered and
balanced in ethical decision making, are presented. Each
principle is followed by a statement of those values which are
included in and give definition to the principle. Each values
statement is followed by a list of ethical standards which
illustrate the application of the specific principle and values
to the activities of psychologists. The standards range from
minimal behavioural expectations (e.g., Standards I.14, II.34,
III.1, IV.24) to more idealized, but achievable, attitudinal and
behavioural expectations (e.g., Standards I.16, II.10, III.10,
IV.5). In the margin, to the left of the standards, key words are
placed to guide the reader through the standards and to
illustrate the relationship of the specific standards to the
Derivation. The four principles represent those ethical
principles used most consistently by Canadian psychologists to
resolve hypothetical ethical dilemmas sent to them by the CPA
Committee on Ethics during the initial development of the Code.
In addition to the responses provided by Canadian psychologists,
the values statements and ethical standards have been derived
from interdisciplinary and international ethics codes, provincial
and specialty codes of conduct, and ethics literature.
WHEN PRINCIPLES CONFLICT
All four principles are to be taken into account and
balanced in ethical decision making. However, there are
circumstances in which ethical principles will conflict and it
will not be possible to give each principle equal weight.
The complexity of ethical conflicts precludes a firm
ordering of the principles. However, the four principles have
been ordered according to the weight each generally should be
given when they conflict, namely:
Principle I: Respect for the Dignity of Persons. This
principle, with its emphasis on moral rights, generally should be
given the highest weight, except in circumstances in which there
is a clear and imminent danger to the physical safety of any
Principle II: Responsible Caring. This principle generally
should be given the second highest weight. Responsible caring
requires competence and should be carried out only in ways that
respect the dignity of persons.
Principle III: Integrity in Relationships. This principle
generally should be given the third highest weight. Psychologists
are expected to demonstrate the highest integrity in all of their
relationships. However, in rare circumstances, values such as
openness and straightforwardness may need to be subordinated to
the values contained in the Principles of Respect for the Dignity
of Persons and Responsible Caring.
Principle IV: Responsibility to Society. This principle
generally should be given the lowest weight of the four
principles when it conflicts with one or more of them. Although
it is necessary and important to consider responsibility to
society in every ethical decision, adherence to this principle
must be subject to and guided by Respect for the Dignity of
Persons, Responsible Caring, and Integrity in Relationships. When
individual welfare appears to conflict with benefits to society,
it is often possible to find ways of working for the benefit of
society which do not violate respect and responsible caring for
individuals. However, if this is not possible, then greater
weight must be given to individual welfare.
Even with the above ordering of the principles,
psychologists will be faced with ethical dilemmas which are
difficult to resolve. In these circumstances, psychologists are
expected to engage in an ethical decision-making process that is
explicit enough to bear public scrutiny. In some cases,
resolution may be a matter of personal conscience. However,
decisions of personal conscience are also expected to be the
result of a decision-making process which is based on a
reasonably coherent set of ethical principles and which can bear
public scrutiny. If the psychologist can demonstrate that every
reasonable effort was made to apply the ethical principles of
this Code and resolution of the conflict has had to depend on the
personal conscience of the psychologist, such a psychologist
would be deemed to have followed this Code.
THE ETHICAL DECISION-MAKING PROCESS
The ethical decision-making process may occur very rapidly,
leading to an easy resolution of an ethical issue. This is
particularly true of issues for which clear-cut guidelines or
standards exist and for which there is no conflict between
principles. On the other hand, some ethical issues (particularly
those in which ethical principles conflict) are not easily
resolved and might require time-consuming deliberation.
The following basic steps typify approaches to ethical
1. Identification of ethically relevant issues and
2. Development of alternative courses of action.
3. Analysis of likely short-term, ongoing, and long-term
risks and benefits of each course of action on the
individual(s)/group(s) involved or likely to be affected (e.g.,
client, client's family or employees, employing
institution, students, research participants,
colleagues, the discipline, society, self).
4. Choice of course of action after conscientious
application of existing principles, values, and
5. Action, with a commitment to assume responsibility for
the consequences of the action.
6. Evaluation of the results of the course of action.
7. Assumption of responsibility for consequences of
action, including correction of negative consequences,
if any, or re-engaging in the decision-making process if the
ethical issue is not resolved.
Psychologists engaged in time-consuming deliberation are
encouraged and expected to consult with colleagues and/or
advisory bodies when such persons can add knowledge and/or
objectivity to the decision-making process. Although the decision
for action remains with the individual psychologist, the
seeking and consideration of such assistance reflects an ethical
approach to ethical decision making.
USES OF THE CODE
This Code is intended to guide psychologists in their
everyday conduct, thinking and planning, and in the resolution of
ethical dilemmas; that is, it advocates the practice of both
proactive and reactive ethics.
The Code is also intended to serve as an umbrella document
for the development of codes of conduct or other more specific
codes. For example, the Code could be used as an ethical
framework for the identification of behaviours which would be
considered enforceable in a certain jurisdiction, the violation
of which would constitute misconduct; and/or, certain
jurisdictions could identify those standards in the Code that
would be considered of a more serious nature and, therefore,
reportable and subject to possible discipline. Also, the
principles and values could be used to help specialty areas
develop standards which are specific to those areas. Some work in
this direction has already occurred within CPA (e.g., use of
animals in research, therapy and counselling with women, practice
guidelines for providers of psychological services). The
principles and values incorporated into this Code, insofar as
they come to be reflected in other documents guiding the
behaviour of psychologists, will reduce inconsistency and
conflict between documents. A third use of the Code is to
assist in the adjudication of complaints against psychologists. A
body charged with this responsibility is required to investigate
allegations, judge whether unacceptable behaviour has occurred,
and determine what corrective action should be taken. In
determining corrective action, one of the judgements the
adjudicating body needs to make is whether an individual
conscientiously engaged in an ethical decision-making process and
acted in good faith, or whether there was a negligent or wilful
disregard of ethical principles. The articulation of the ethical
decision-making process contained in this Code provides guidance
for making such judgements.
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGIST
Responsibility for ethical action by psychologists depends
foremost on the integrity of each individual psychologist; that
is, on each psychologist's commitment to behave as ethically as
possible in every situation. This commitment is essential to the
fulfilment of any discipline's contract with society. Acceptance
to membership in the Canadian Psychological Association, a
scientific and professional association of psychologists, commits
1. To adhere to the ethical Code adopted by the
2. To assess and discuss ethical issues and practices with
colleagues on a regular basis.
3. To bring concerns about possible unethical actions by a
psychologist directly to the psychologist, when
appropriate, and to attempt to reach an agreement on the issue
and, if needed, on the appropriate action to be taken.
4. To consider seriously others' concerns about one's own
possibly unethical actions and attempt to reach an
agreement on the issue and, if needed, take appropriate action.
5. To cooperate with duly constituted committees of the
Association which are concerned with ethics and ethical
6. To bring to the attention of the Association ethical
issues which require clarification or the development
of new guidelines or standards.
RELATIONSHIP OF CODE TO PERSONAL BEHAVIOUR
This Code is intended to guide and regulate only those
activities a psychologist engages in by virtue of being a
psychologist. There is no intention to guide or regulate a
psychologist's activities outside of this context. Personal
behaviour becomes a concern of the discipline only if it is of
such a nature that it undermines public trust in the discipline
as a whole or if it raises questions about the psychologist's
ability to carry out appropriately his/her responsibilities as a
RELATIONSHIP OF CODE TO PROVINCIAL REGULATORY BODIES
In exercising its responsibility to articulate ethical
principles, values, and standards for those who wish to become
and remain members in good standing, the Canadian Psychological
Association recognizes the multiple membership that some
psychologists have (both regulatory and voluntary). The Code has
attempted to encompass and incorporate those ethical principles
most prevalent in the discipline as a whole, thereby minimizing
the possibility of variance with provincial/territorial
regulations and guidelines. Psychologists are expected to respect
the requirements of their provincial/territorial regulatory
bodies. Such requirements may define particular behaviours which
constitute misconduct, are reportable to the regulatory body,
and/or which are subject to discipline.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
For the purposes of this Code:
a) Psychologist means any person who is a Fellow, Member,
Student Affiliate or Foreign Affiliate of the Canadian
Psychological Association, or a member of any psychology
voluntary association or regulatory body adopting this Code.
(Readers are reminded that provincial/territorial
jurisdictions may restrict the legal use of the term
psychologist in their jurisdiction and that such
restrictions are to be honoured.)
b) Client means a person, family, or group (including an
organization or community) receiving service from a
c) Clients, research participants, students and any other
persons with whom psychologists come in contact in the
course of their work, are independent if they can independently
contract or give informed consent. Such persons are
partially dependent if the decision to contract or give
informed consent is shared between two or more parties (e.g.,
parents and school boards, workers and Worker Compensation
Boards, adult members of a family). Such persons are
considered to be fully dependent if they have little or no
choice about whether or not to receive service or
participate in an activity (e.g., patients who have been
involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility, or very
young children involved in a research project).
d) Others means any individual or group with whom
psychologists come in contact in the course of their work.
It may include, but is not limited to: research participants;
clients seeking help with personal, family, organizational,
industrial or community issues; students; supervisees;
employees; colleagues; employers; third party payers; and,
members of the general public.
e) Legal or civil rights means those rights protected under
laws and statutes recognized by the province in which the
psychologist is working.
f) Moral rights means fundamental and inalienable human
rights which may or may not be fully protected by existing
laws and statutes. Of particular significance to psychologists,
for example, are rights to: equal justice; fairness and due
process; and, developmentally appropriate privacy,
self-determination, and personal liberty. Protection of some
aspects of these rights may involve practices which are not
contained or controlled within current laws and statutes.
Moral rights are not limited to those mentioned in this
g) Unjust discrimination or unjustly discriminatory means
activities which are prejudicial or promote prejudice to
persons because of their culture, nationality, ethnicity, colour,
race, religion, gender, marital status, sexual orientation,
physical or mental abilities, age, socio-economic status,
and/or any other preference or personal characteristic,
condition, or status.
h) Sexual harassment includes either or both of the
following: (i) The use of power or authority in an attempt
to coerce another person to engage in or tolerate sexual
activity. Such uses include explicit or implicit threats of
reprisal for noncompliance or promises of reward for
compliance. (ii) Engaging in deliberate and/or repeated
unsolicited sexually oriented comments, anecdotes, gestures,
or touching, if such behaviours: are offensive and unwelcome;
create an offensive, hostile or intimidating working environment;
or, can be expected to be harmful to the recipient.
i) The discipline of psychology refers to the scientific and
applied methods and knowledge of psychology, and to the
structures and procedures used by its members for conducting
their work in relationship to society, to members of the
public, to students, and to each other.
In order to maintain the relevance and responsiveness of
this Code, it will be reviewed by the CPA Board of Directors in
three years, and revised as needed. You are invited to forward
comments and suggestions, at any time, to the CPA office. In
addition to psychologists, this invitation is extended to all
readers, including members of other disciplines and the public.
PRINCIPLE I: RESPECT FOR THE DIGNITY OF PERSONS
In the course of their work as scientists, practitioners, or
scientist-practitioners, psychologists come into contact with
many different individuals and groups, including: research
participants; clients seeking help with personal, family,
organizational, industrial or community issues; students;
supervisees; employees; colleagues; employers; third party
payers; and, the general public.
In these contacts, psychologists accept as fundamental the
principle of respect for the dignity of persons; that is, the
belief that each person should be treated primarily as a person
or an end in him/herself, not as an object or a means to an end.
In so doing, psychologists acknowledge that all persons have a
right to have their innate worth as human beings appreciated and
that this worth is not enhanced or reduced by their culture,
nationality, ethnicity, colour, race, religion, gender, marital
status, sexual orientation, physical or mental abilities, age,
socio-economic status, and/or any other preference or personal
characteristic, condition, or status. Although psychologists
have a responsibility to respect the dignity of all persons with
whom they come in contact in their role as psychologists, the
nature of their contract with society demands that their greatest
responsibility be to those persons directly receiving or involved
in the psychologist's activities and, therefore, normally in a
more vulnerable position (e.g., research participants, clients,
students). This responsibility is almost always greater than
their responsibility to those indirectly involved (e.g.,
employers, third party payers, the general public).
Adherence to the concept of moral rights is an essential
component of respect for the dignity of persons. Rights to
privacy, self-determination, personal liberty, and natural
justice are of particular importance to psychologists, and they
have a responsibility to protect and promote these rights in all
of their activities. As such, psychologists have a responsibility
to develop and follow procedures for informed consent,
confidentiality, fair treatment, and due process that are
consistent with those rights.
As individual rights exist within the context of the rights
of others and of responsible caring (see Principle II), there may
be circumstances in which the possibility of serious detrimental
consequences to themselves or others, a diminished capacity to be
autonomous, or a court order, might disallow some aspects of the
rights to privacy, self-determination, and personal liberty.
Indeed, such circumstances might be serious enough to create a
duty to warn others (see Standards I.40 and II.36). However,
psychologists still have a responsibility to respect the rights
of the person(s) involved to the greatest extent possible under
the circumstances, and to do what is necessary and reasonable to
reduce the need for future disallowances.
In addition, psychologists recognize that as individual,
family, group, or community vulnerabilities increase and/or as
the power of persons to control their environment or their lives
decreases, psychologists have an increasing responsibility to
seek ethical advice and to establish safeguards to protect the
rights of the persons involved. For this reason, psychologists
consider it their responsibility to increase safeguards to
protect and promote the rights of persons involved in their
activities proportionate to the degree of dependency and the lack
of voluntary initiation. For example, this would mean that there
would be more safeguards to protect and promote the rights of
fully dependent persons than partially dependent persons, and
more safeguards for partially-dependent than independent persons.
Respect for the dignity of persons also includes the concept
of equal justice. With respect to psychologists, this concept
implies that all persons are entitled to benefit equally from the
contributions of psychology and to equal quality in the
processes, procedures, and services being conducted by
psychologists. Although individual psychologists might specialize
and direct their activities to particular populations,
psychologists must not exclude persons on a capricious or
unjustly discriminatory basis.
In adhering to the Principle of Respect for the Dignity of
Persons, psychologists would:
I.1 Demonstrate appropriate respect for the knowledge, insight,
experience, and areas of expertise of others.
I.2 Not engage publicly (e.g., in public statements,
presentations, research reports, or with clients) in demeaning
descriptions of others, including jokes based on culture,
nationality, ethnicity, colour, race, religion, gender, etc., or
other remarks which reflect adversely on the dignity of others.
I.3 Use language that conveys respect for the dignity of others
(e.g., gender-neutral terms) in all written or verbal
I.4 Abstain from all forms of harassment, including sexual
I.5 Avoid or refuse to participate in practices disrespectful of
the legal, civil, or moral rights of others.
I.6 Refuse to advise, train, or supply information to anyone
who, in the psychologist's judgement, will use the knowledge or
skills to infringe on human rights.
I.7 Make every reasonable effort to ensure that psychological
knowledge is not misused, intentionally or unintentionally, to
infringe on human rights.
I.8 Respect the right of recipients of service, research
participants, employees, supervisees, students, and others, to
safeguard their own dignity.
I.9 Not practice, condone, facilitate, or collaborate with any
form of unjust discrimination.
I.10 Act to prevent or correct practices that are unjustly
I.11 Seek as full and active participation as possible from
others in decisions which affect them.
I.12 Respect and integrate as much as possible the opinions and
wishes of others regarding decisions which affect them.
I.13 Obtain informed consent from all independent and partially
dependent persons for any psychological services provided to them
except in circumstances of urgent need (e.g., suicidal gesture).
In such circumstances, psychologists would proceed with the
assent of such persons, but fully informed consent would be
obtained as soon as possible. (Also see Standard I.22.)
I.14 Obtain informed consent for all research activities which
involve obtrusive measures, invasion into the private lives of
research participants, risks to the participant, or any attempt
to change the behaviour of research participants.
I.15 Establish and use signed consent forms which specify the
dimensions of informed consent or which acknowledge that such
dimensions have been explained and are understood, if such forms
are required by law or if such forms are desired by the
psychologist, the person(s) giving consent, or the organization
for whom the psychologist works.
I.16 Recognize that informed consent is the result of a process
of reaching an agreement to work collaboratively, rather than of
simply having a consent form signed.
I.17 Provide, in obtaining informed consent, as much information
as a reasonable or prudent person, family, group, or community
would want to know before making a decision or consenting to an
activity. The psychologist would relay this information in
language which the persons understand (including providing
translation into another language, if necessary) and would take
whatever reasonable steps are necessary to assure that the
information was, in fact, understood.
I.18 Assure, in the process of obtaining informed consent, that
at least the following points are understood: purpose and nature
of the activity; mutual responsibilities; likely benefits and
risks; alternatives; the likely consequences of non-action; the
option to refuse or withdraw at any time, without prejudice; over
what period of time the consent applies; and, how to rescind
consent if desired.
I.19 Clarify the nature of multiple relationships to all
concerned parties before obtaining consent, if providing services
to or conducting research with individuals, families, groups, or
communities at the request or for the use of third parties. This
would include, but not be limited to: the purpose of the service
or research; the use that will be made of information collected;
and, the limits on confidentiality. Third parties may include
schools, courts, government agencies, insurance companies,
police, and special funding bodies.
FREEDOM OF CONSENT
I.20 Take all reasonable steps to ensure that of consent is not
given under conditions coercion or undue pressure. (Also see
I.21 Not proceed with any research activity, if consent is given
under any condition of coercion or undue pressure. (Also see
I.22 Take all reasonable steps to confirm or re-establish freedom
of consent, if consent for service is given under conditions of
duress or conditions of extreme need.
I.23 Respect the right of individuals to discontinue
participation or service at any time, and be responsive to
non-verbal indications of a desire to discontinue if the
individual has difficulty with verbally communicating such a
desire (e.g., young children, verbally disabled persons).
I.24 Work and act in a spirit of fair treatment to others.
I.25 Help to establish and abide by due process or other
natural justice procedures for employment, evaluation,
adjudication, editorial, and peer review activities.
I.26 Compensate others justly for the use of their time, energy,
and intelligence, unless such compensation is refused in advance.
I.27 Seek an independent and adequate ethical review of human
rights issues and protections for any research involving
vulnerable groups and/or persons of diminished capacity to give
informed consent, before making a decision to proceed.
I.28 Not use persons of diminished capacity to give informed
consent in research studies, if the research involved might
equally well be carried out with persons who have a fuller
capacity to give informed consent.
I.29 Carry out informed consent processes with those persons who
are legally responsible or appointed to give informed consent on
behalf of individuals who are not competent to consent on their
I.30 Seek willing and adequately informed participation from any
person of diminished capacity to give informed consent, and
proceed without this assent only if the service or research
activity is considered to be of direct benefit to that person.
I.31 Be particularly cautious in establishing the freedom of
consent of any individual who is in a dependent relationship to
the psychologist (e,g., student, employee). This may include, but
is not limited to, offering that person an alternative activity
to fulfil their educational or employment goals, or offering a
range of research studies or experience opportunities from which
the person can select.
I.32 Explore and collect only that information which is germane
to the purpose(s) for which consent has been obtained.
I.33 Take care not to infringe, in research or service
activities, on the personally or culturally defined private space
of individuals or groups unless clear permission is granted to do
I.34 Record only that private information necessary for the
provision of continuous, coordinated service, or for the goals of
the particular research study being conducted, or which is
required by law (see Standards IV.15, and IV.16).
I.35 Respect the right of employees, supervisees, students, or
psychologists-in-training to reasonable personal privacy.
I.36 Store, handle, and transfer all records, both written and
unwritten (e.g., computer files, video-tapes), in a way that
attends to the needs for privacy and security. This would include
having adequate plans for records in circumstances of one's own
serious illness or death.
I.37 Take all reasonable steps to ensure that records over which
they have control remain personally identifiable only as long as
is necessary in the interests of those to whom they refer and/or
to the research project for which they were collected, or as
required by law, and render anonymous or destroy any records
under their control that no longer need to be personally
I.38 Be careful not to relay information which they have gained
about colleagues, colleagues' clients, students, and members of
organizations gained in the process of their activities as
psychologists and which the psychologist has reason to believe is
considered confidential by those persons, except as required or
justified by law (see Standards IV.15 and IV.16).
I.39 Clarify what measures will be taken to protect
confidentiality, and what responsibilities family, group, and
community members have for the protection of each other's
confidentiality, when engaged in services to or research with
individuals, families, groups, or communities.
I.40 Share confidential information with others only with the
informed consent of those involved, or in a manner that the
individuals involved cannot be identified, except as required or
justified by law, or in circumstances of actual or possible
serious physical harm or death (see Standard II.36).
I.41 Encourage others, if appropriate, to respect the dignity of
persons and to expect respect for their own dignity.
I.42 Assume overall responsibility for the scientific and
professional activities of their assistants, students,
supervisees, and employees with regard to Respect for the Dignity
of Persons, all of whom, however, incur similar obligations.
PRINCIPLE II: RESPONSIBLE CARING
A basic ethical expectation of any discipline is that its
activities will benefit members of society or, at least, do no
harm. Therefore, psychologists demonstrate an active concern for
the welfare of any individual, family, group, or community with
whom they relate in their role as psychologists. This concern
includes both those directly involved and those indirectly
involved in their activities. However, as with Principle I,
psychologists' greatest responsibility is to protect the welfare
of those directly involved in their activities and, therefore,
normally in a more vulnerable position (e.g., research
participants, clients, students). Their responsibility to those
indirectly involved (e,g., employers, third party payers, the
general public) is secondary. As individuals are usually
concerned about their own welfare, obtaining informed consent
(see Principle I) is one of the best methods for ensuring that
their welfare will be protected. However, it is only when
informed consent is combined with the responsible caring of the
psychologist that there is considerable ethical protection of the
welfare of the person(s) involved. Responsible caring leads
psychologists to take care to discern the potential harm and
benefits involved, to predict the likelihood of their occurrence,
to proceed only if the potential benefits outweigh the potential
harms, to develop and use methods that will minimize harms and
maximize benefits, and to take responsibility for correcting any
harmful effects that have occurred as a result of their
In order to carry out these steps, psychologists recognize
the need for competence and self-knowledge. They consider
incompetent action to be unethical per se, as it is unlikely to
be of benefit and likely to be harmful. They engage only in those
activities in which they have competence, and they perform their
activities as competently as possible. They acquire, contribute
to, and use the existing knowledge most relevant to the best
interests of those concerned. They also engage in self-reflection
regarding how their own values, attitudes, experiences, and
social context (e.g., culture, ethnicity, colour, religion,
gender, sexual orientation, physical and mental ability level,
age, and socio-economic status) influence their actions,
interpretations, choices, and recommendations. This is done with
the intent of increasing the probability that their activities
will benefit and not harm the individuals, families, groups and
communities to whom they relate in their role as psychologists.
Psychologists define harm and benefit in terms of both physical
and psychological dimensions. They are concerned about such
factors as feelings of self-worth, fear, humiliation,
interpersonal trust, cynicism, self-knowledge and general
knowledge, as well as such factors as physical safety, comfort,
pain, and injury. They are concerned about immediate, short-term,
and long-term effects.
Responsible caring recognizes and acknowledges (e.g.,
through obtaining informed consent) the ability of individuals,
families, groups, and communities to care for themselves and each
other. It does not replace or undermine such ability. However,
psychologists recognize that as vulnerabilities increase and/or
as power to control one's own life decreases, they have an
increasing responsibility to protect the wellbeing of the
individual, family, group, or community involved. For this
reason, as in Principle I, psychologists consider it their
responsibility to increase safeguards proportionate to the degree
of dependency and the lack of voluntary initiation on the part of
the persons involved. However, for Principle II, the safeguards
are for the well-being of persons rather than for the rights of
Psychologists' treatment and use of animals in their
research and teaching activities are also a component of
responsible caring. Although animals do not have the same rights
as persons (e.g., informed consent), they do have the right to be
treated humanely and not to be exposed to unnecessary discomfort,
pain, or disruption.
In adhering to the Principle of Responsible Caring,
General CaringII.1 Protect and promote the welfare of clients, students,
research participants, colleagues, and others.
II.2 Avoid doing harm to clients, students, research
participants, colleagues, and others.
II.3 Accept responsibility for the consequences of their actions.
II.4 Refuse to advise, train, or supply information to anyone
who, in the psychologist's judgement, will use the knowledge or
skills to harm others.
II.5 Make every reasonable effort to ensure that psychological
knowledge is not misused, intentionally or unintentionally, to
COMPETENCE AND SELF-KNOWLEDGE
II.6 Offer or carry out (without supervision) only those
activities for which they have established their competence to
carry them out to the benefit of others.
II.7 Not delegate activities to persons not competent to carry
them out to the benefit of others.
II.8 Take immediate steps to obtain consultation or to refer a
client to a colleague or other appropriate professional,
whichever is more likely to result in providing the client with
competent service, if it becomes apparent that a client's
problems are beyond their competence.
II.9 Keep themselves up to date with relevant knowledge, research
methods, and techniques, through the reading of relevant
literature, peer consultation, and continuing education
activities, in order that their service or research activities
and conclusions will benefit and not harm others.
II.10 Evaluate how their own experiences, attitudes, culture,
beliefs, values, social context, individual differences, and
stresses influence their interactions with others, and integrate
this awareness into all efforts to benefit and not harm others.
II.11 Seek appropriate help and/or discontinue scientific or
professional activity for an appropriate period of time, if a
physical or psychological condition reduces their ability to
benefit and not harm others.
II.12 Engage in self-care activities which help to avoid
conditions (e.g., burnout, addictions) which could result in
impaired judgement and interfere with their ability to benefit
and not harm others.
II.13 Assess the individuals, families, groups, and
communities involved in their activities adequately enough to
ensure that they will be able to discern what will benefit and
not harm those persons.
II.14 Be sufficiently sensitive to and knowledgeable about
individual differences and vulnerabilities to discern what will
benefit and not harm persons involved in their activities.
II.15 Carry out pilot studies to determine the effects of all
new procedures and techniques which might carry some risks,
before considering their use on a broader scale.
II.16 Seek an independent and adequate ethical review of the
balance of risks and potential benefits of all research which
involves procedures of unknown consequence, or where pain,
discomfort, or harm are possible, before making a decision to
II.17 Not carry out any scientific or professional activity
unless the probable benefit is proportionately greater than the
II.18 Provide services which are coordinated over time and
with other service providers, in order to avoid duplication or
working at cross purposes.
Such coordination would be promoted by the maintenance of
adequate records and communication with other service providers.
II.19 Make themselves aware of the knowledge and skills of
other disciplines (e.g., law, medicine) and advise the use of
such knowledge and skills, where relevant to the benefit of
II.20 Strive to obtain the best possible service for those
needing and seeking psychological service. This includes
recommending professionals other than psychologists, if
II.21 Monitor and evaluate the effect of their activities,
record their findings and, if appropriate, communicate new
knowledge to others in the field.
II.22 Debrief research participants in such a way that the
participants' knowledge is enhanced and the participants have a
sense of contribution to knowledge.
II.23 Perform their teaching duties on the basis of careful
preparation, so that their instruction is current and scholarly.
II.24 Act on their obligation to facilitate the professional
and scientific development of their students, trainees,
employees, and supervisees by assuring that these persons
understand the values and ethical prescriptions of the
discipline, and by providing or arranging for adequate working
conditions, timely evaluations, and constructive consultation and
II.25 Encourage and assist students in publication of worthy
II.26 Be acutely aware of the power relationship intherapy
and, therefore, not encourage or engage in sexual intimacy with
therapy clients, neither during therapy, nor for that period of
time following therapy during which the power relationship
reasonably could be expected to influence the client's personal
II.27 Be careful not to engage in activities in a way that
could place incidentally involved individuals at risk.
II.28 Be acutely aware of the need for discretion in the
recording and communication of information, in order that the
information not be interpreted or used to the detriment of
others. This includes, but is not limited to: not recording
information which could lead to misinterpretation and misuse;
avoiding conjecture; clearly labelling opinion; and,
communicating information in language that can be understood
clearly by the particular recipient of the information.
II.29 Give reasonable assistance to secure needed
psychological services or activities, if personally unable to
meet requests for needed psychological services or activities.
II.30 Maintain appropriate contact, support, and
responsibility for caring until a colleague or other professional
begins service, if referring a client to a colleague or other
II.31 Give reasonable notice and be reasonably assured that
discontinuation will cause no harm to the client, before
II.32 Screen appropriate research participants and select
those not likely to be harmed, if risk or harm to some research
participants is possible.
II.33 Act to minimize the impact of their research activities
on research participants' personality or their physical or mental
II.34 Terminate an activity when it is clear that the
activity is more harmful than beneficial, or when the activity is
no longer needed.
II.35 Refuse to help individuals, families, groups, or
communities to carry out or submit to activities which, according
to current knowledge and/or legal and professional guidelines,
would cause serious physical or psychological harm to themselves
II.36 Do everything reasonably possible to stop or offset the
consequences of actions by others when these actions are likely
to cause serious physical harm or death. This may include
reporting to appropriate authorities (e.g., the police) or an
intended victim, and would be done even when a confidential
relationship is involved. (See Standard I.40)
II.37 Act to stop or offset the consequences of clearly
harmful activities being carried out by another psychologist or
member of another discipline, when these activities have come to
their attention outside of a confidential client relationship
with that psychologist or member of another discipline. Depending
on the nature of the harmful activities, this may include talking
informally with the psychologist or member of the other
discipline, obtaining objective information and, if possible, the
assurance that the harm will discontinue and be corrected.
However, if the harm is serious and/or continues to persist, the
situation would be reported to the appropriate regulatory body,
authority, and/or committee for action.
II.38 Not place an individual, group, family, or community
needing service at a serious disadvantage by offering them no
service over an unreasonable period of time in order to fulfill
the conditions of a control condition in a research study and,
where resources allow, offer such person(s) the service found to
be most effective after the research study is completed.
II.39 Debrief research participants in such a way that any
harm caused can be discerned, and act to correct any resultant
CARE OF ANIMALS
II.40 Not use animals in their research unless there is a
reasonable expectation that the research will increase
understanding of the structures and processes underlying
behaviour, or increase understanding of the particular animal
species used in the study, or result eventually in benefits to
the health and welfare of humans or other animals.
II.41 Use a procedure subjecting animals to pain, stress, or
privation only if an alternative procedure is unavailable and the
goal is justified by its prospective scientific, educational, or
II.42 Make every effort to minimize the discomfort, illness,
and pain of animals. This would include performing surgical
procedures only under appropriate anaesthesia, using techniques
to avoid infection and minimize pain during and after surgery
and, if disposing of experimental animals is carried out at the
termination of the study, doing so in a humane way.
II.43 Use animals in classroom demonstrations only if the
instructional objectives cannot be achieved through the use of
video-tapes, films, or other methods, and if the type of
demonstration is warranted by the anticipated instructional gain.
II.44 Encourage others, if appropriate, to care responsibly.
II.45 Assume overall responsibility for the scientific and
professional activities of their assistants, students,
supervisees, and employees with regard to the Principle of
Responsible Caring, all of whom, however, incur similar
PRINCIPLE III: INTEGRITY IN RELATIONSHIPS
The relationships formed by psychologists in the course of
their work embody explicit and implicit mutual expectations of
integrity that are vital to the advancement of scientific
knowledge and to the maintenance of public confidence in the
discipline of psychology. These expectations include: accuracy
and honesty; straight-forwardness and openness; the maximization
of objectivity and minimization of bias; and, avoidance of
conflicts of interest. Psychologists have a responsibility to
meet these expectations and to encourage reciprocity. In
addition to accuracy, honesty, and the obvious prohibitions of
fraud or misrepresentation, meeting expectations of integrity is
enhanced by self-knowledge and the use of critical analysis.
Although it can be argued that science is value-free, scientists
are not. Personal values can affect the questions psychologists
ask, how they ask those questions, what assumptions they make,
their selection of methods, what they observe and what they fail
to observe, and how they interpret their data.
Psychologists are not expected to be value-free in
conducting their activities. However, they are expected to
understand how their backgrounds and values interact with their
activities, to be open and honest about the influence of such
factors, and to be as objective and unbiased as possible under
The values of openness and straightforwardness exist within
the context of Respect for the Dignity of Persons (Principle I)
and Responsible Caring (Principle II). As such, there will be
circumstances in which openness and straightforwardness will need
to be tempered. Full disclosure may not be needed or desired by
others and, in some circumstances, may be a risk to their dignity
or well-being. In such circumstances, however, psychologists have
a responsibility to ensure that their decision not to be fully
open or straightforward is justified by higher-order values.
Of special concern to psychologists is the use of deception in
research, or the use of any technique (e.g., temporary
withholding of information) which could be interpreted as
deception by research participants or clients. Although research
which uses such techniques can lead to knowledge which is
beneficial, and service which uses techniques which might be
interpreted as deception can lead to beneficial changes for the
client, such benefits must be weighed against the individual's
right to self-determination and the importance of public and
individual trust in psychology. Psychologists have a serious
obligation never to use deception in service activities, and to
avoid as much as possible the use of deception in research or the
use of any technique which could be interpreted as deception in
either research or service activities. They also have a serious
obligation to consider the need for, the possible consequences
of, and their responsibility to correct any resulting mistrust or
other harmful effects from the use of such techniques.
As public trust in the discipline of psychology includes
trusting that psychologists will act in the best interests of
members of the public, situations which present real or potential
conflicts of interest are of concern to psychologists.
Conflict-of-interest situations can readily motivate
psychologists to act in ways which meet their own personal,
political, or business interests at the expense of the best
interests of members of the public. Although avoidance of all
situations which present a conflict of interest is not possible,
it is the responsibility of psychologists to avoid as many as
possible and, when such situations cannot be avoided, to ensure
that the best interests of members of the public are protected.
Integrity in relationships implies that psychologists, as a
matter of honesty, have a responsibility to maintain competence
in any speciality area for which they declare competence, whether
or not they are currently practising in that area. It also
requires that psychologists, in as much as they present
themselves as members and representatives of a specific
discipline, have a responsibility to actively rely on and be
guided by that discipline and its guidelines and requirements.
In adhering to the Principle of Integrity in Relationships,
III.1 Not participate in, condone, or be associated with
dishonesty, fraud, or misrepresentation.
III.2 Accurately represent their own and their associates'
qualifications, education, experience, competence, and
affiliations, in all spoken, written, or printed communications,
being careful not to use descriptions or information which could
III.3 Carefully protect their own and their associates'
credentials from being misrepresented by others, and act quickly
to correct any such misrepresentation.
III.4 Maintain competence in their declared area(s) of
psychological competence, as well as in their current area(s) of
activity. (See Standard II.9.)
III.5 Accurately represent their activities, functions, and
likely or actual outcomes of their work, in all spoken, written,
or printed communication. This includes, but is not limited to:
advertisements of services; course and workshop descriptions;
academic grading requirements; and, research reports.
III.6 Ensure that their activities, functions, and likely or
actual outcomes of their activities are not misrepresented by
others, and act quickly to correct any such misrepresentation.
III.7 Take credit only for the work and ideas that they have
actually done or generated, and give credit for work done or
ideas contributed by others (including students) in proportion to
III.8 Acknowledge the limitations of their knowledge,
methods, findings, interventions, and views.
III.9 Not suppress disconfirming evidence of their findings
and views, acknowledging alternative hypotheses and explanations.
OBJECTIVITY/LACK OF BIAS
III.10 Evaluate how their personal experiences, attitudes,
values, social context, individual of differences, and stresses
influence their activities and thinking, integrating this
awareness into all attempts to be objective and unbiased in their
research, service and other activities.
III.11 Take care to communicate as completely and objectively
as possible, and to clearly differentiate facts, opinions,
theories, hypotheses, and ideas, if communicating their
knowledge, findings, and views.
III.12 Present instructional information accurately, avoiding
bias in the selection and presentation of information, and
publicly acknowledge any personal values or bias which influence
the selection and presentation of information.
III.13 Act quickly to clarify any distortion by a sponsor,
client, or other persons, of the findings of their research.
III.14 Be clear and straightforward about all information
needed to establish informed consent or any other valid written
or unwritten agreement (for example: fees; concerns; mutual
responsibilities; ethical responsibilities of psychologists;
purpose and nature of the relationship; alternatives; likely
experiences; possible conflicts; possible outcomes; and,
expectations for processing, using, and sharing any information
III.15 Provide suitable information about the results of
assessments, evaluations, or research findings to the persons
involved, if appropriate and/or if asked. This information would
be communicated in understandable language.
III.16 Fully explain reasons for their actions to persons who
have been affected by their actions, if appropriate and/or if
III.17 Honour all promises and commitments included in any
written or verbal agreement unless serious and unexpected
circumstances (e.g., illness) intervene. If such circumstances
occur, then the psychologist would make a full and honest
explanation to other parties involved.
III.18 Make clear whether they are acting as private citizens,
as members of specific organizations or groups, or as
representatives of the discipline of psychology, when making
statements or when involved in public activities.
III.19 Conduct research in a way that is consistent with a
commitment to honest, open inquiry, and to clear communication of
any research aims, sponsorship, social context, personal values,
or financial interests that may affect or appear to affect their
III.20 Submit their research, in some accurate form and within
the limits of confidentiality, to independent colleagues with
expertise in the research area, for their comments and
III.21 Encourage the free exchange of ideas between themselves
and their students.
III.22 Make no attempt to conceal the status of a trainee.
AVOIDANCE OF DECEPTION
III.23 Not engage in deception in any service activity.
III.24 Not engage in deception in research or the use of
techniques which might be interpreted as deception, in research
or service activities, if there are alternative procedures
available and/or if the negative effects cannot be predicted or
III.25 Not engage in deception in research or the use of
techniques which might be interpreted as deception in research or
service activities, if it would interfere with the individual's
understanding of facts which clearly might influence a decision
to give informed consent.
III.26 Use the minimum necessary deception in research or
techniques which might be interpreted as deception in research,
or service activities.
III.27 Provide research participants, during debriefing, with
a clarification of the nature of the study, if deception or the
use of techniques which could be interpreted as deception has
occurred. In such circumstances, psychologists would seek to
remove any misconceptions which might have arisen and to
re-establish any trust which might have been lost, assuring the
participant during debriefing that the real or apparent deception
was neither arbitrary nor capricious. (Also, see Standard II.22.)
III.28 Act to re-establish with clients any trust which might
have been lost due to the use of techniques which might be
interpreted as deception.
III.29 Seek an independent and adequate ethical review of the
risks to public or individual trust and of safeguards to protect
such trust for any research which uses deception or techniques
which might be interpreted as deception, before making a decision
AVOIDANCE OF CONFLICT OF INTEREST
III.30 Not exploit any relationship established as a
psychologist to further personal, political, or business
interests at the expense of the best interests of their clients,
research participants, students, employers, or others. This
includes, but is not limited to: soliciting clients of one's
employing agency for private practice; taking advantage of trust
or dependency to engage in sexual activities or to frighten
clients into receiving services; appropriating student's ideas,
research or work; using the resources of one's employing
institution for purposes not agreed to; securing or accepting
significant financial or material benefit for activities which
are already awarded by salary or other compensation; and,
prejudicing others against a colleague for reasons of personal
III.31 Not offer rewards sufficient to motivate an individual
or group to participate in an activity that has possible or known
risks to themselves or others. (See Standards I.20; I.21; II.2;
III.32 Avoid dual relationships (e.g.. with students,
employees, or clients) and other situations which might present a
conflict of interest or which might reduce their ability to be
objective and unbiased in their determinations of what might be
in the best interests of others.
III.33 Inform all parties, if a real or potential conflict of
interest arises, of the need to resolve the situation in a manner
that is consistent with Respect for the Dignity of Persons
(Principle I) and Responsible Caring (Principle II), and take all
reasonable steps to resolve the issue in such a manner.
RELIANCE ON THE
III.34 Familiarize themselves with their discipline's rules
and regulations, and abide by them, unless abiding by them would
be seriously detrimental to the rights or well-being of others as
demonstrated in the Principles of Respect for the Dignity of
Persons or Responsible Caring. (See Standard IV.16 for guidelines
regarding the resolution of such conflicts.)
III.35 Familiarize themselves with and demonstrate a
commitment to maintaining the standards of their discipline.
III.36 Seek consultation from colleagues and/or appropriate
groups and committees, and give due regard to their advice in
arriving at a responsible decision, if faced with difficult
III.37 Encourage others, if appropriate, to relate with
III.38 Assume overall responsibility for the scientific and
professional activities of their assistants, students,
supervisers, and employees with regard to the Principle of
Integrity in Relationships, all of whom, however, incur similar
PRINCIPLE IV: RESPONSIBILITY TO SOCIETY
Psychology functions as a discipline within the context of
human society. Psychologists, both in their work and as private
citizens, have responsibilities to the societies in which they
live and work, such as the neighbourhood or city, and to the
welfare of all human beings in those societies. Two of the
legitimate expectations of psychology as a science and a
profession are that it will increase knowledge and that it will
conduct its affairs in such ways that it will promote the welfare
of all human beings.
In the context of society, the above expectations imply that
scientific freedom will be balanced by scientific responsibility;
that is, psychologists will actively increase knowledge only
through the use of activities and methods that are consistent
with ethical requirements, and be willing to demonstrate that
such requirements have been met. The expectations also imply
that psychologists will do whatever they can to ensure that
psychological knowledge, when used in the development of social
structures and policies, will be used for beneficial purposes,
and that the discipline's own structures and policies will
support those beneficial purposes. Within the context of this
document, social structures and policies which have beneficial
purposes are defined as those which more readily support and
reflect respect for the dignity of persons, responsible caring,
integrity in relationships, and responsibility to society. If
psychological knowledge or structures are used against these
purposes, psychologists have an ethical responsibility to try to
draw attention to and correct the misuse. Although this is a
collective responsibility, those psychologists having direct
involvement in the structures of the discipline, in social
development, and/or in the theoretical or research data base that
is being used (e.g., through research, expert testimony, or
policy advice) have the greatest responsibility to act. Other
psychologists must decide for themselves the most appropriate and
beneficial use of their time and talents to help meet this
In carrying out their work, psychologists acknowledge that
many social structures have evolved slowly over time in response
to human need, are valued by society, and are primarily
beneficial. In such circumstances, psychologists convey respect
for these social structures and avoid unwarranted or unnecessary
disruption. Suggestions for and action toward changes or
enhancement of such structures are carried out only through
processes which seek to achieve a consensus within society
through democratic means.
On the other hand, if structures or policies seriously
ignore or oppose the principles of respect for the dignity of the
person, responsible caring, integrity in relationships, or
responsibility to society, psychologists involved have a
responsibility to be critical and advocate for change to occur as
quickly as possible.
In order to be responsible to society and to contribute
constructively to its ongoing evolution, psychologists need to be
self-reflective about the place of the discipline of psychology
in society. They need to engage in even-tempered observation and
interpretation of the effects of societal structures and
policies, and their process of change, developing the ability of
psychologists to increase the beneficial use of psychological
knowledge and structures, and avoid their misuse. The discipline
needs to be willing to set high standards for its members, to do
what it can to assure that such standards are met, and to support
its members in their attempts to maintain the standards. Once
again, individual psychologists must decide for themselves the
most appropriate and beneficial use of their time and talents in
helping to meet these collective responsibilities.
In adhering to the Principle of Responsibility to Society,
Development of Knowledge
IV.1 Contribute to the discipline of psychology and of society's
understanding of itself and human beings generally, through a
free pursuit and sharing of knowledge, unless such activity
conflicts with other basic ethical requirements.
IV.2 Keep informed of progress in their area(s) of psychological
activity, take this progress into account in their work, and try
to make their own contributions to this progress.
IV.3 Participate in and contribute to continuing education and
the professional and scientific growth of self and colleagues.
IV.4 Assist in the development of those who enter the discipline
of psychology by helping them to acquire a full understanding of
the ethics, responsibilities, and needed competencies of their
chosen area(s), including an understanding of critical analysis
and of the variations, uses, and possible misuses of the
IV.5 Participate in the process of critical self-evaluation of
the discipline's place in society and in the development and
implementation of structures and procedures which help the
discipline to contribute to beneficial societal functioning and
IV.6 Engage in regular monitoring, assessment, and reporting
(e.g., through peer review, and in program reviews, case
management reviews, and reports of one's own research) of their
ethical practices and safeguards.
IV.7 Help develop, promote, and participate in accountability
processes and procedures related to their work.
IV.8 Uphold the discipline's responsibility to society by
promoting and maintaining the highest standards of the
IV.9 Protect the skills, knowledge, and interpretations of
psychology from being misused, used incompetently, or made
useless (e.g., loss of security of assessment techniques) by
IV.10 Contribute to the general welfare of society (e.g.,
improving accessibility of services, regardless of ability to
pay) and/or to the general welfare of their discipline by
offering a portion of their time to work for which they receive
little or no financial return.
IV.11 Uphold the discipline's responsibility to society by
bringing incompetent or unethical behaviour, including misuses of
psychological knowledge and techniques, to the attention of
appropriate regulatory bodies, authorities, and/or committees, in
a manner consistent with the ethical principles of this Code, if
informal resolution or correction of the situation is not
appropriate or possible.
IV.12 Only enter into agreements or contracts which allow
them to act in accordance with the ethical principles and
standards of this Code.
RESPECT FOR SOCIETY
IV.13 Acquire an adequate knowledge of the culture, social
structure, and customs of a community before beginning any major
IV.14 Convey respect for and abide by prevailing community
mores, social customs, and cultural expectations in their
scientific and professional activities, provided that this does
not contravene any of the ethical principles of this Code.
IV.15 Abide by the laws of the society in which they work. If
those laws seriously conflict with the ethical principles
contained herein, psychologists would do whatever they could to
uphold the ethical principles. If upholding the ethical
principles could result in serious personal consequences (e.g.,
jail or physical harm), decision for final action would be
considered a matter of personal conscience.
IV.16 Consult with colleagues, if faced with an apparent
conflict between keeping a law and following an ethical
principle, unless in an emergency, and seek consensus as to the
most ethical course of action and the most responsible,
knowledgeable, effective, and respectful way to carry it out.
DEVELOPMENT OF SOCIETY
IV.17 Act to change those aspects of the discipline of
psychology which detract from beneficial societal changes, where
appropriate and possible.
IV.18 Be sensitive to the needs, current issues, and problems
of society, if determining research questions to be asked,
services to be developed, information to be collected, or the
interpretation of results or findings.
IV.19 Be especially careful to keep well informed through
relevant reading, peer consultation and continuing education, if
their work is related to societal issues.
IV.20 Speak out, in a manner consistent with the four
principles of this Code, when they possess expert knowledge that
bears on important societal issues being studied or discussed.
IV.21 Provide thorough discussion of the limits of their
data, if their work touches on social policy and structure.
IV.22 Make themselves aware of the current social and
political climate and of previous and possible future societal
misuses of psychological knowledge, and exercise due discretion
in communicating psychological information (e.g., research
results, theoretical knowledge) in order to discourage any
IV.23 Exercise particular care when reporting the results of
any work regarding vulnerable groups, ensuring that results are
not likely to be misinterpreted or misused in the development of
social policy, attitudes, and practices (e.g., encouraging
manipulation of vulnerable persons or reinforcing discrimination
against any specific population).
IV.24 Not contribute to nor engage in research or any other
activity which promotes or is intended for use in the torture of
persons, the development of prohibited weapons, destruction of
the environment, or any other act which contravenes international
IV.25 Provide the public with any psychological knowledge
relevant to the public's informed participation in the shaping of
social policies and structures, if involved in public policy
IV.26 Speak out and/or act, in a manner consistent with the
four principles of this Code, if the policies, practices or
regulations of the social structure within which they work
seriously ignore or oppose any of the principles of this Code.
IV.27 Encourage others, if appropriate, to exercise
responsibility to society.
IV.28 Assume overall responsibility for the scientific and
professional activities of their assistants, students,
supervisees, and employees with regard to the Principle of
Responsibility to Society, all of whom, however, incur similar