ERIC Number: EJ1145898
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 48
A Teachable Ethics Scandal
Handelsman, Mitchell M.
Teaching of Psychology, v44 n3 p278-284 Jul 2017
In this article, I describe a recent scandal involving collusion between officials at the American Psychological Association (APA) and the U.S. Department of Defense, which appears to have enabled the torture of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. The scandal is a relevant, complex, and engaging case that teachers can use in a variety of courses. Details of the scandal exemplify a number of psychological concepts, including obedience, groupthink, terror management theory, group influence, and motivation. The scandal can help students understand several factors that make ethical decision-making difficult, including stress, emotions, and cognitive factors such as loss aversion, anchoring, framing, and ethical fading. I conclude by exploring some parallels between the current torture scandal and the development of APA's ethics guidelines regarding the use of deception in research.
Descriptors: Ethics, Professional Associations, Psychology, Public Officials, Federal Government, Guidelines, Violence, Punishment, War, Decision Making, Military Personnel, Stress Variables, Deception, Research, Emotional Response, Teaching Methods, Terrorism, Psychological Patterns, Conflict of Interest, Reports
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
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