According to Fisher (2016) the development of a dynamic set of ethical standards for psychologists’ work-related conduct requires, a personal commitment and lifelong effort to act ethically; to encourage ethical behavior by students, supervisees, employees, and colleagues; and to consult with others concerning ethical problems, APA (2010b, Preamble). With that said, ethical decision making is a personal commitment or obligation to do what is right, with integrity especially when other alternatives or options arise. Ethical decision-making encompasses making the choice to do right. Many individuals, including myself, base values, code of conduct and standards upon the Word of God (both Old and New Testament). Being honest, truthful and holding true to ethical principals, codes of conduct and moral standards and making ethical decisions is a philosophy which will affect those around us and who we associate with. I have found that when making ethical decisions, good relationships were built and produces a level of trust from others.
When I began attending GCU, and throughout my academic career, academic integrity was stressed. Many professors insisted that we read (within the Student Success Center) and sign, acknowledging we had a full understanding of academic integrity and university policies on the topic. Academic dishonesty, and plagiarism is a serious offense that can adversely affect a student life academically as well as professionally. I think it is essential when writing papers, to ask questions were there may be some confusion and continually review proper/acceptable ways of citing sources according to GCU.
The philosophy of ethical decision making can have an effect on our everyday lives in a number of ways. Personally, the biggest one would be the deciding what is confidential and what is not. Almost all of us have friends that at one point have said “don’t tell anyone” or “I’m telling you in confidence”. That friend is trusting that whatever it is that they are about to say will be kept between them and the person they are telling.
That same idea can (and is) applied to the ethics of psychology – confidentiality. While we can lose a friend, or break a treasured trust/bond, if a psychologist can lose much more. “Disclosure of confidential information can result in criminal or civil liability or financial or social damage to participants” (Fisher, 2017).
Building a trust between people is important for any relationship. Confidentiality is one of the biggest ways to either build or break that trust. As a student, we can ensure that we maintain academic honesty by not breaking the trust that the instructors and the college have put in us. They trust us not to plagiarize, they trust us not to steal information from one another (or other sources). We can maintain that trust by simply not doing such things.