Texas Tech University

Psychological Sciences - Ethics

From the Chair…

What began as a general conversation about ethics is becoming an ingrained part of campus life at Texas Tech. Three years ago the university selected ethics as the subject for its Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP). As evidence of its commitment to an ethical approach to teaching, research and service, the Department of Psychological Sciences adopted the American Psychological Association Ethics Code to provide a solid foundation for students and faculty alike.

General Information

The Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech upholds our commitment to professional ethics in a number of ways. For example, several of our faculty attend ethics conferences as well as present workshops on ethical issues related to professional psychology. Ethical issues are discussed as they pertain to particular course material. In addition, our graduate students in the Clinical and Counseling Psychology students take a Professional Issues and Ethics course taught by Dr. Sheila Garos:

The Professional Ethics course provides an in-depth examination of the legal, professional, and ethical issues associated with the research and practice of counselors and counseling psychologists. The primary goal of the course is to provide students with knowledge and skills necessary for ethical decision-making. A secondary goal is to familiarize students with the history and current role of the A.P.A. in establishing guidelines and professional codes of ethics for research, teaching, and practice in psychology. In addition, students learn about federal mandates (HIPAA), state licensure boards, and other legal and professional guidelines that apply in situations commonly faced by clinicians, researchers and instructors.

Faculty and students who are involved in research must adhere to the guidelines for human subjects research which are outlined by the TTU Office of Research Services and the Institutional Review Board. These guidelines cover issues such as grant protocol approval, informed consent, privacy obligations, debriefing, subject benefits, deception, anonymity, data retention, conflict of interest, etc. Additional training in human subjects research may include participation in online instruction through the Collaborative Institutional Training Institute.

Through these efforts, the Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech University strives to integrate and uphold the principles and standards outlined in the professional code of ethics of the American Psychological Association in our teaching, scholarship and service.

Helpful Links

Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct

Office of Ethnic Minority Affairs

Guidelines for Psychological Evaluations in Child Protection Matters

Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Older Adults

Guidelines for Psychotherapy with Lesbian, Gay, & Bisexual Clients

Working with Students in Need: An Ethical Perspective

Article in the Observer, Vol. 20, Number 11, December 2007  by Baron Perlman, Lee I. McCann & Tammy L. Kadah-Ammeter

This is a very useful resource from APS that addresses ethical concerns that may arise in student-faculty relationships.

Institutional Research

Office of Research Services

Research Ethics Education

The Belmont Report

On July 12, 1974, the National Research Act was signed into law which created the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research. One of the charges to the Commission was to identify the basic ethical principles that should underlie the conduct of biomedical and behavioral research involving human subjects and to develop guidelines which should be followed to assure that such research is conducted in accordance with those principles. The Belmont Report attempts to summarize the basic ethical principles identified by the Commission.

Policy for Protection of Human Research Subjects

Professional Ethics in Psychology

This is a website developed and maintained by Dr. Ken Pope who has been an active member of APA and prolific writer on the topic of professional ethics in psychology. His site offers literally hundreds of resources, links, papers, etc.