ERIC Number: ED223962
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Ethical Decision Making: What Is Currently the Case?
Welfel, Elizabeth Reynolds; Lipsitz, Neal E.
This paper reviews the current empirical literature on counselor ethics, suggesting that it offers little guidance in understanding why unethical behavior occurs or how to remedy such behavior. The research literature is classified according to four basic areas of concern: (1) documenting the incidence of unethical practice; (2) identifying the practitioner characteristics related to unethical practice; (3) proposing a theory of ethical decision-making; and (4) examining training effects in ethics education. The review indicates that inadequate documentation exists for the incidence of unethical practice, that the literature has failed to establish a firm empirical basis for predicting who will behave unethically, that promising research combining theory building and empirical study has little regard for legal and societal consequences, and that the inclusion of formal ethics coursework to make students more aware of ethical issues has not been substantiated. The current state of the literature suggests that alternative approaches are needed to the empirical study of ethical decision-making. The conceptualization of ethical decision-making in terms of developmental differences in moral reasoning, the design of the Ethical Judgment Scale, and the refinement of the Ethical Judgment Scale by using groups of counselor trainees's scores on the Defining Issues Test and the Ethical Judgment Scale to determine if the two scores would be significantly related are detailed. Research results that provide the first evidence of a relationship between moral development and ethical decision-making are presented. (PAS)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reference Materials - Bibliographies; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (90th, Washington, DC, August 23-27, 1982).