Ethical Principles

Write an assessment of an ethical issue in a case study and construct an ethical analysis based on the application of ethical principles.

Note: The assessments in this course build upon one another, so you are strongly encouraged to complete them in sequence.

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As a psychology professional, you will encounter ethical dilemmas at times in your work. Dealing with controversial and ambiguous real-life situations within the framework of a complex society provokes challenges. Familiarity with the APA principles, use of critical thinking, consulting with others, and ongoing gains in professional experience enhance our ability as professionals to effectively apply ethical standards in practice. In this assessment, you will apply this understanding to a case study problem.

Competency Map
Use this online tool to track your performance and progress through your course.
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APA Resources

Because this is a psychology course, you must format this assessment according to APA guidelines. Additional resources about APA can be found in the Research Resources in the left navigation menu of your courseroom. Use the following resources to guide your work as needed.

Academic Writer.
APA Paper Template [DOCX].
Ethical Decision-Making

The following resources can assist you as you address the professional ethics in the case you selected. You may find that you want to search for and use additional or other professional or scholarly resources that directly relate to concerns in your case.

Moffett, L. A., Becker, C. J., & Patton, R. G. (2014). Fostering the ethical sensitivity of beginning clinicians. Training and Education in Professional Psychology, 8(4), 229–235.
Schwartz, M. (2016). Ethical decision-making theory: An integrated approach [PDF]. Journal of Business Ethics, 139(4), 755–776.
Palacios, J., Adroher, S., Brodzinsky, D. M., Grotevant, H. D., Johnson, D. E., Juffer, F., . . . Tarren-Sweeney, M. (2019). Adoption in the service of child protection: An international interdisciplinary perspective. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 25(2), 57–72.
Assessment Instructions


The assessments in this course build upon one another, so you are strongly encouraged to complete them in sequence.
For this assessment, you will continue to work with the same case study you chose for your Assessment 1.
Review the Case Studies, if necessary.

In this assessment you will apply ethical principles to analyze an ethical dilemma within the case you chose.


Write report in which you complete the following:

Brainstorm several alternatives for resolving the ethical dilemma in the case.
Analyze alternatives for resolving the ethical dilemma and come to a conclusion.
Analyze and document the possible ramifications for at least three alternatives. Then, choose a course of action.
Apply ethical codes and standards to support the plan of action.
Explain the research methods used in multiple research studies relevant to the case, and present the findings.
Explain your course of action, using research findings from at least two studies to support your plan. You can use (but are not required to use) additional research beyond the two studies to support your plan.

The following is the recommended structure for organizing your assessment:

Create a title page: Write a title that reflects the purpose of your work. It is suggested that you use the APA Paper Template [DOCX] to format your paper according to the APA manual (current edition).
Write an introduction: For the introduction section of your paper, include the title at the top of the first page. (In APA format, the word Introduction is not used as a heading.) Briefly summarize:
The ethical issue in the case you have chosen.
How professional standards and other resources, in general terms, point toward solutions.
How the issue in general relates to larger societal problems.
Create a heading titled Applied Ethical Principles and Standards: Use the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct to assess which of the principles and standards relate to the particular ethical issue in this case, and analyze how they do so.
Create a heading titled Alternative Solutions:
Brainstorm several alternatives for resolving the ethical dilemma in the case. Thoroughly analyze the possible ramifications for at least three alternatives and document them. Then, choose a course of action.
Explain your chosen course of action and support it based on both ethical principles and current psychological research (published within the past decade).
Create a heading title Research: Present at least two research studies that support your thinking and approach to ethics in the case. Present the research methods and findings and analyze the relevance of the findings to the case.
Create a heading titled Conclusion: Briefly summarize the importance of the problem and make a compelling appeal for implementation of your action plan.

Keep in mind that while your writing must conform to APA standards, you must explain all information in a manner that can be understood easily by a nonacademic or nonscientific audience.

Refer to the Ethical Issue and Action Plan Scoring Guide to ensure you meet the grading criteria for this assessment.

Additional Requirements

Your assessment should meet the following requirements:

Written communication: Written communication is well organized and free from errors that detract from the overall message.
APA style: Comply with current APA style and formatting.
Number of resources: A minimum of three academic resources.
Length: 6–8 typed, double-spaced pages, excluding the cover page and references.
Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12 point.

Portfolio Prompt: You are encouraged to save this learning activity to your ePortfolio.

Note: Your instructor may use the Writing Feedback Tool when grading this assessment. The Writing Feedback Tool is designed to provide guidance and resources to develop your writing based on five core skills. You will find writing feedback in the Scoring Guide for the assessment, once your work has been evaluated. Learn more about the Writing Feedback Tool on the course Tools and Resources page.

Competencies Measured

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the following course competencies and assessment scoring guide criteria:

Competency 2: Apply empirical research findings to issues in psychology.
Apply psychological research findings to support a plan of action.
Competency 3: Use scientific research methods and findings to address psychological phenomena.
Explain research methods used in multiple research studies.
Competency 4: Solve problems in the field of psychology through critical and scientific analysis, and innovative thinking.
Analyze alternatives for resolving an ethical dilemma.
Competency 5: Evaluate decisions or actions based on cultural competence and ethical principles.
Apply ethical codes and standards to support a plan of action.
Competency 7: Communicate effectively with diverse recipients in a manner that is consistent with expectations for psychology professionals.
Communicate clearly, supporting a central idea with good organization of thought, and correct grammar and sentence structure.
Apply APA style and formatting to written work. For more information on  check on this:

DNP Role Presentation

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