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date: 04 June 2020

(p. xxiii) Preface

(p. xxiii) Preface

Ethics and ethics codes are designed to serve multiple purposes, such as protecting the general public and promoting public trust, educating members of professions and students undergoing professional training about ethical ideals and expected standards of conduct, and reflecting legislative initiatives that link ethics to the law and to government policy. The purpose of The Oxford Handbook of International Psychological Ethics is to be the state-of-the-art source for information on psychological ethics worldwide, and to offer a comprehensive international review of contemporary and emerging ethical issues within psychology as a science and profession. There is no comparable book on the market, notwithstanding the importance and timeliness of the topics to be covered in the Handbook.

Evidence is increasing that the future of psychological ethics and ethics codes will be grounded in an international perspective, as evidence by the following examples. First, the Meta-Code of Ethics was developed in Europe in 1995 (and revised in 2005) as a document intended to highlight principles that European countries should consider when constructing or revising their national codes of psychological ethics. Although these national codes differ in content, they are consistent with the fundamental principles contained in the Meta-Code. Similarly, the Mercosur countries of South America developed a common economic agreement in the mid-1990s that allowed for greater commercial access among these countries. Such access has opened artificial boundaries in other areas, including the discipline of psychology. To wit, the Mercosur countries have discussed common ethical issues that arise across nations (and in 1997 developed the only regional declaration of ethical principles for psychology in South America: the Ethics Framework for Professional Practice of Psychology in the Mercosur and Associated Countries).

Second, while on a much grander scale, other international documents have appeared which further testify to the growing internationalization of psychological ethics. One such document is the Universal Declaration of Ethical Principles for Psychologists, which was developed through a joint effort among the International Union of Psychological Science (IUPsyS), International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP), and International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP). The objectives of the Universal Declaration are to provide a generic set of morally based principles that enable national psychological organizations to formulate or revise their ethics codes, to assess progress in the ethical and moral relevance of such codes, to evaluate alleged unethical behavior by their members, and to speak with collective authority on matters of ethical concern. The Universal Declaration deliberately avoids prescribing specific standards of conduct because of its sensitivity to the cultural variation in how generic ethical principles are expressed. With (p. xxiv) its approval at the 2008 meeting of the IUPsyS's General Assembly, the Universal Declaration has clear-cut implications for the ethical practice of psychology around the globe.

Third, certificate programs in psychology, such as those derived from the DaVinci project in Europe (i.e., the EuroPsy), are being designed so that their graduates can work across European borders. This development has implications for quality assurance of the training provided in psychological ethics and for the uniform ethical practice of psychology in its various specialties. Countries in close proximity (e.g., Canada and the United States) often have psychologists residing across borders given similar training programs, yet their ethics codes differ significantly.

Fourth, over the past 20 years there has been an increase in the number of national and international psychological associations that have focused their priorities and resources on psychological ethics, with multiple countries developing or revising their codes over the past decade. For example, both the Turkish and Iranian codes have been developed in the past five years, and the Chinese code was revised during that time. The International Test Commission is currently developing an ethics code to be used in conjunction with their test guidelines. Fifth, there has been a strong movement to restore, include, or expand the focus within psychological ethics codes on social justice and human rights issues. A growing number of national ethics codes from such diverse countries as Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and Uruguay feature aspirational principles and standards of conduct that emphasize psychologists’ sense of social responsibility and call upon psychologists not only to respect, but also to advocate for the disempowered and marginalized.

Finally, unlike countries in other geographic regions (South America, Europe) that historically have adopted an international orientation, the United States, through the American Psychological Association (APA), has relatively recently turned its attention to a variety of international issues that bear on psychological science and practice. For example, in 2008 the membership of the APA approved a petition resolution stating that U.S. psychologists may no longer work in settings where individuals are held outside of or in violation of international law or the U.S. constitution unless they are working directly for detained persons or for a third party engaged in the protection of human rights.

Beyond the developments and trends just described, there are numerous cultural, educational, and social dimensions of psychological ethics that have gained international attention and thus demand substantive examination. For example, test security has become a global issue, as psychological tests and even college entrance and graduate school admission tests have found their way online. Given growing international collaboration, there has been a call for better ethical guidance in responding to the multitude of issues that surround the implementation of international research. Ethical issues concerning licensure and certification, indigenous interventions, competent transnational practice, interdisciplinary cooperation, and diverse approaches to ethical decision making are all important topics that increasingly will have an impact on psychological research, practice, and training.

Ethical developments and issues within geographical regions (e.g., Africa, Asia) are on the rise and are being dealt with on regional as well as national levels. One (p. xxv) of the purposes of the Handbook is to offer international guidance to psychologists from or working in various geographic regions in resolving ethical dilemmas.

As noted at the outset, the intent of The Oxford Handbook of International Psychological Ethics is to be the much-needed comprehensive source of information on psychological ethics from an international perspective, with material related to recent, current, and future international developments and issues regarding psychological ethics. These developments and issues have yet to be discussed in significant depth in the professional literature, although they have been presented to a small degree in the form of conference symposia and scattered journal articles. The chapters of the Handbook are organized into five sections, which we now describe. The chapter authors include acknowledged experts from around the globe who have provided diverse and authoritative perspectives on the ethical issues covered.

Part One: Overview of International Psychological Ethics

This section includes a survey of the history of professional ethics from which current ethical principles in psychology obtain, conceptual guidelines and case-study vignettes to facilitate the resolution of ethical dilemmas that may arise when working across cultures and national borders, a discursive analysis of complementary and competing value systems intended to raise awareness of the multiple dimensions that undergird ethical practice, the importance of ethical decision-making skills in addition to knowledge of psychological ethics, and an examination of disciplinary versus mediational approaches to remedying ethical infractions and achieving just outcomes for the victim, perpetrator, and psychological community.

Part Two: Current and Emerging International Ethical and Professional Development Issues

This section surveys a wide array of cutting-edge developments and challenges in international psychological ethics, such as the effectiveness of diverse national credentialing standards in psychology, the role of the Universal Declaration of Ethical Principles for Psychologists in facilitating human rights and social justice, the search for universal ethical standards, ethical ambiguities in carrying out international and cross-cultural research, the need for a framework to guide ethical online research and practice across national jurisdictions, ethical issues and requirements when applying and evaluating interventions in aboriginal communities and when administering indigenous interventions, perspectives for addressing ethical dilemmas when working cross-nationally with immigrants and refugees, efforts to codify international ethical guidelines for psychological tests and their cross-national applications, ethical responses to security risks that increasingly impact international testing, and proposed responses to ethical issues that arise in national security operations.

Part Three: Psychological Ethics in Wider Contexts

Psychological phenomena, especially those which manifest cross-culturally and cross-nationally, are rightly construed as being multiply determined, and their understanding necessitates inquiry that transcends mainstream disciplinary and structural boundaries. Calls for an internationalized psychology often reference the (p. xxvi) importance of more inclusive interdisciplinary and multisectoral approaches to scientific research and applied practice. In keeping with this view, this section includes three chapters that relate and/or evaluate psychological ethics in the context of issues and practices that are germane to business and industry, medical research, and the law.

Part Four: Psychological Ethics by Region: Convergence and Divergence

Ethical developments and issues within geographical regions have become more prominent. Over the past 20 years, regional and national psychology associations have prioritized the establishment or revision of their ethics codes. This trend has implications for more uniformity in the ethical practice of psychology and in ethics training. The chapters nested within this section identify and examine areas of convergence and divergence in dominant countries within a particular geographic region that pertain to psychological ethics, specifically ethics codes, laws that regulate psychology, the existence of professional associations and adjudicating committees, ethics training, research on ethics, and future challenges with respect to ethics and ethics codes.

Part Five: Economic, Political, and Social Influences on Psychological Ethics and Ethics Code Development

Given the nature of psychology as a science and profession, it follows that economic, political, and social events and forces shape psychological ethics codes, especially when such events and forces are of sufficient magnitude as to transform the structure and dynamics of society. Following an overview of the relationship of psychological ethics and ethics codes to macro-level change, each of the remaining chapters applies this theme to a particular country that has or is currently undergoing a distinctive form of economic, political, and/or social transformation. These distinctive transformations include: from military dictatorship to representative government (Argentina), from monoculturalism to multiculturalism (New Zealand), from communism to free-market economy (Russia), from racial segregation to pluralism (South Africa), and from secular to religious (Turkey). Each chapter illustrates how national ethics codes in psychology are historically constructed, sample from the general principles and specific standards of its country's ethics codes or from rights and obligations as codified by law, and conclude with questions about the relationship between economic, political, and social transformation and psychological ethics that may guide future research on this topic.

With its broad scope and perspective informed by a synthesis of international scholarship and practice, the Handbook will inform readers from around the world of existing and emerging issues and trends that confront psychological ethics and will. The primary audiences for the Handbook include graduate-level ethics courses in such fields as psychology (clinical, counseling, industrial-organizational, school), counselor education/guidance and counseling, marriage and the family, pastoral counseling, and social work. The Handbook may also be adopted as an adjunct text in disciplines allied to psychology, such as anthropology, sociology, law, medicine, and politics and government. Other audiences include undergraduate students (p. xxvii) enrolled in psychology courses that may use the Handbook as a reference (e.g., cross-cultural psychology, international psychology, multicultural counseling, psychology of diversity) or in general studies courses that emphasize ethics within an international context. Other possible audiences include academic and applied psychologists who are increasingly engaged in international teaching, research, practice, and consulting, as well as international psychology organizations (e.g., national associations such as the APA, regional associations such as the European Federation of Psychologists Associations [EFPA], and international associations such as the IUPsyS).

Mark M. Leach

Michael J. Stevens

Geoff Lindsay

Andrea Ferrero

Yeşim Korkut (p. xviii)