Technology Innovations for Behavioral Education

pp 59-67


Ethical Issues in Media Psychology

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The Ethics Code of the American Psychological Association is generic, in that it covers a wide range of settings within which the psychologist must be aware of its constraints. While all psychologists pay lip service to the Code, there are many occasions, especially when they interact with the media, that their true understanding becomes questionable. Far more than the Advertising section comes into play. When dealing with the media psychologists must take precautions to respect confidentiality of communications, avoid causing harm, to those with whom they work. On occasions, psychologists in high profile matters will justify talking extensively about clients because it is a matter of public record. Public Record, however, does not relieve the psychologist of their ethical responsibilities to avoid harm and to respect the scientific basis of the work we do. Psychologists cannot create unvalidated psychological measures that sound impressive when they are discussed in the media. They must also avoid multiple relations in such settings because the very nature of the exposure can cause a harmful multiple relationship. This paper will follow the Code of Ethics in exploring various interactions with the media.