Ethical Dilemma in Psychology Argumentative Essay by Spirittalk

This essay argues on the various ethics codes for American Psychology Association.
# 150574 | 1,703 words | 6 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Mar 15, 2012 in Psychology (General) , Ethics (General)

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This essay on the APA ethics code, presents on the split between being ethical and having ethical principles. this fine line, which the writer argues must be drawn, is very much pronounced for the working psychologist. This perspective centers on the principles to which psychologists aspire and offers guidance by way of the APA Ethics Code in dealing with ethical questions and decisions based in the five ethical principles. The ethical dilemma provided in this paper is whether or not to accept a gift from a client. Culture and precedence are factors in this ethical dilemma; in resolving this dilemma, certain steps must be taken to arrive at an ethical decision that has the best interest of the client in mind. This is known as the ethical decision making process. The importance of the decision has an enormous influence on the client, the psychologist, and on the integrity of psychology.

Ethical Dilemma
Applying the Steps in the Ethical Decision Making Process
The Importance of Ethical Decision Making in professional Psychology

From the Paper:

"Subsequent to the conclusion of six months of therapy, the client sent a box of cookies to the office. The cookies were addressed to the psychologist who provided therapy to the client on a bi-monthly basis. One week later, a package arrived containing a large crystal vase from Iran. At the onset of the next session, the client asked the therapist if he liked the cookies and the vase that she had sent him. The therapist explained his policy regarding gifts from patients as a no acceptance policy; however, the client not being aware of the policy stated that in her culture, gifts were given when someone achieves a major accomplishment within his or her personal life, and recently, she had achieved a major breakthrough in her therapy; therefore, in her view, the gift was acceptable (Iran - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette, 2012).
"The ethical dilemma provided is whether or not to accept a gift from a client. While no specific ethical standard exists regarding the acceptance of gifts from clients (Approaching Ethical Dilemmas, 2004), some direction is provided within the code of ethics. Principal A, beneficence and nonmaleficence, for example, states a psychologist must strive to act in a manner that benefits the client and do no harm. Within the realm of their professional dealings, psychologists make decisions that affect the lives of others, and the must remain vigilant because personal, and financial factors may lead to the improper use of their influence (Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, 2010)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • APA Code Excerpts. (2012). Retrieved from
  • Approaching Ethical Dilemmas. (2004, October). American Psychological Association, 35(9), 62. Retrieved from
  • Behnke, S. (2005). On being an ethical psychologist. Retrieved from
  • Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. (2010). Retrieved from
  • Iran - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette. (2012). Retrieved from

Cite this Argumentative Essay:

APA Format

Ethical Dilemma in Psychology (2012, March 15) Retrieved September 25, 2022, from

MLA Format

"Ethical Dilemma in Psychology" 15 March 2012. Web. 25 September. 2022. <>