Ethical Implications in Screening for Ethics Violations
Ethics and Behavior. 1991; 1(4): 259-271.
The process of admittance to membership in a psychological organization is an opportune time to take into consideration any questionable behavior in the professional background of a prospective member. Membership application forms of the American Psychological Association (APA) and 58 affiliated organizations are reviewed to determine the kinds of questions that are asked about ethical misconduct. The nature of the inquiry differs considerably from one association to another, with a preponderance of organizations avoiding any direct questions about professional ethics. Discussion is focused on how these different screening strategies impact on the applicant and the organization. There is a demonstrated need for appropriately formulated queries. A case is made for resolving current inconsistencies among associations by adhering to a unified procedure in the ethical screening of psychologist applicants.
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