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date: 29 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The authors use a novel methodology to gauge how the ethics codes of national psychology associations define the relationship between psychology and the society in which it is practiced. Using ethics codes available in English through the IUPsyS compendium project, the authors examine how national ethics codes make reference to civil law, an indicator of how psychology associations view their relationship to society. The authors identify several ways in which civil law appears in ethics codes. The five national ethics codes that refer to civil law the most are further scrutinized as to whether they impose an obligation to follow the law, provide a means for adjudicating ethical–legal conflicts, specify domains germane to law, address forensic activities, and incorporate transcendent human rights. Some national associations view ethics and law as inextricably intertwined. Other associations adopt a more detached relationship, whereby ethics and law operate largely in two separate realms.

Keywords: ethics code, American Psychological Association ethics code, APA ethics office, international, law

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