Professionals in most fields have ethical principles that guide their work. Psychologists are no exception, and we have very well developed ethical guidelines for all of our professional work, including research with both human and nonhuman subjects. In the US, the American Psychological Association has guidelines that most psychologists follow, although similar guidelines have been devised by associations in other countries.

1. Read the sections on ethics in Chapters 1 and 2 of your textbook for general background on the ethics code and research ethics.

2. Go to the links page and go to the American Psychological Association and Australian Psychological Society websites.

3. Find the ethics codes on both sites, and read the sections pertaining to research. Hint: Try the APA website map.

4. Write a report comparing the research practices in both codes. What are the underlying philosophies or general principles? Are their principles identical or are there differences? Are there differences in emphasis in any areas? If you were to move from one country to the other, could you conduct your research in the same manner?

HINT: Be sure and take notes as you go, or download the information for later use.


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Copyright Paul E. Spector, All rights reserved, November 16, 2011.