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Professional Ethics in Applied and Experimental Psychology

General data

Course ID: 2500-EN_O_44 Erasmus code / ISCED: 14.4 / (0313) Psychology
Course title: Professional Ethics in Applied and Experimental Psychology Name in Polish: Professional Ethics in Applied and Experimental Psychology
Organizational unit: Faculty of Psychology
Course groups: obligatory class for 4th and 5th year
ECTS credit allocation (and other scores): (not available)
view allocation of credits
Language: English
Type of course:

obligatory courses

Short description:

This course is an introduction to the foundational professional principles

of the field intended to expose the student to the ethical issues,

principles, guidelines, and dilemmas that are pertinent to the

experimental and applied fields of Psychology.

Full description:

In this course, students will also become knowledgeable about the

historic roots of modern professional ethical principles and guideline

within applied and experimental psychology practice, as well as the social

forces that have and continue to shape ethical challenges within the field

today. By engaging in an examination and discourse of such ethical issues

the student will become better prepared to anticipate and address ethical

dilemmas as a professional. Students will learn the need for and value of

constant self-appraisal of personal beliefs and values as a cornerstone of

ethical decision making. In addition, students will develop practical

problem solving strategies necessary for maintaining ethical standards,

fostering quality client services, and ensuring the protection of research

participants while adhering to the highest professional ethical principles

and guidelines set forth by the American and Polish Psychological

Associations and other relevant professional organizations.

Learning outcomes:

Upon completion of this course the student will have developed a

fundamental understanding of the historic foundations of professional

ethics, an appreciation of the value of studying professional ethics in

regard to best serving the public, the professional, and the profession. In

addition, the student will develop the practical skill of applying decision

making models, gain needed self-awareness, and become adept at

recognizing potential ethical violations. Finally, the student will gain

insight into the ethical challenges faced by the practicing professional in

the ever and rapidly changing modern world.

Assessment methods and assessment criteria:

Students will be assessed through a combination of class participation,

examinations, reaction papers, a group project and two exams. Each

method is designed to test the student's ability to identify and apply

professional ethical principles and guidelines within the context of real

issues and dilemmas that may be confronted by the practitioner.

And Now, A Word About Grades

Grades and grading represent an imperfect measure of knowledge and

ability. We are never as dumb or as smart as we too often allow ourselves

to believe. Grades are useful only in terms of the degree to which they

can instruct the student about strengths and weaknesses as well as the

degree to which they serve to motivate the student to increase effort and

explore potential. Grades though important should not be the primary

reason or reward of scholarship. It should be remembered that a grade

of “C” is a fine grade and indicates the student has met all the basic

requirements of a given course. Everything above that point indicates

some level of achievement or understanding that exceeds the average

expectations of the course. While it is likely that everyone taking this

course has the potential to earn the highest grades, the difference

between grades is more often reflective of differing experience and

communicative skills rather than only intellect. Thus the difference may

rest in effort and attention to detail. In a writing sensitive course such as

this, such effort and attention can be rewarded and enhanced by paying

close attention to the writing tips and guidelines included in this syllabus.

That is what is commonly referred to as a hint.


Students will be required to successfully complete two examinations. One

will occur at the midpoint of the course and the second will be scheduled

for the last day of class. Exams will be a combination of multiple choice

questions as well as short answer/essay questions. The purpose will be to

reinforce learning and gauge the students grasp of fundamental concepts

as well as his/her ability to apply ethical decision making.

All testable material will come from information covered in lectures, films

and/or any assigned reading provided by the instructor. It should be

noted that I recognize there is no such thing as a perfect exam and that

there are occasionally reasons beyond a student’s control that may affect

his/her ability to perform at an optimum. Mistakes should not be fatal.

With that in mind I do not design exams to be “tricky” but you will need

to prepare. For this course, the best preparation is to attend classes, pay

attention, think, discuss, offer insight, and ask questions! In addition to

the need for preparation on your part, it is my policy to take some time

during the lecture prior to an exam to provide guidelines to help in your

preparation and reduce stress.

Finally, upon completion of grading. Exams will be reviewed in class and

any grading errors that may be detected are always correctable.

Class Participation

The nature and material of this course routinely invites and fosters class

participation and discussion. In addition, the concepts and principles

studied often defy linear thinking and can challenge personal beliefs and

values. Consequently, this can often lead to lively lectures/discussion and

that is welcome. Indeed, students are encouraged to add insights,

opinions, and questions. It should, however, be noted that participation is

not assessed simply upon speaking, sharing and questioning. I recognize

that some students can be more restrained than others and that should

not hinder a participation grade. Thus, participation is also assessed upon

your “presence” and I do not mean simply being in a seat but rather being

present in the moment; being attentive, respectful of others, alert, and

contributing to a positive group experience. As a result, sleeping in class,

arriving late and leaving early, being disruptive, inattentive, working on

other material, or otherwise being rude can adversely affect this part of

the grading criteria.

Writing Assignments

There will be three writing assignments; two reaction papers and one

group effort. Instructions for each assignment are provided in this

syllabus. All written assignments are expected to be completed and

submitted at the beginning of class on the scheduled date. Plagiarism

and/or fabrication like cheating can result in referral to Judicial Affairs

and can result in immediate dismissal from this University.

All papers must adhere to current professional guidelines and must be

submitted on the time and date given in this syllabus. All late papers will

have one letter grade deducted for each day late. Papers placed in the

Instructor’s mailbox or under his door will similarly be considered late and

will have grades deducted dependent upon when the Instructor actually

finds the paper. The only excuses considered for a late paper will be a

verifiable medical excuse specifically stating the students’ inability to

attend class OR a verifiable death in the family. “Verifiable” means

written proof. Weddings, graduations, family reunions, celebrations, tiger

tamings, revolutions, ship launchings, missed busses,

grounded aircraft, derailed trains, cars with flat tires, unreliable friends or

roommates, unrequited love, or printers that do not print, and discs that

do not work are NOT verifiable excuses. The same conditions govern all

examination as well as papers and group projects.

This course is not currently offered.
Course descriptions are protected by copyright.
Copyright by University of Warsaw.