Week 6: ethics and social change in psychology | DPSY 6002 – Foundations for Graduate Study in Psychology | Walden University


Students and professionals in psychology are held to a high standard of professional behavior within school and work settings. Individuals adhere to various moral codes, whether it is being good to others, being honest, caring for others, etc.

Ethical codes are a bit trickier, as they are usually related to behavior within a profession and are written by experts in the field. Ethical codes describe the correct ways to act in a workplace or professional situation. Ethical codes are written to reflect the best practice in a field in relation to research, human interaction, business practice, consulting, and teaching. In psychology, the overarching code is the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct, but there are other codes from individual organizations and institutions that also inform professional ethical behavior. This week, you will discuss the way ethical principles can be applied to your professional career.

Though this course is coming to an end, in many ways this is just the beginning for you and your classmates. You now possess the skills and knowledge that will allow you to recognize when you need assistance and where to get that help. You know how to build community, support each other, and share tips and strategies. This week, you will also create your professional development plan (PDP), which shows where you want to go. Your tools are in place and so will be your plan. Your journey is just beginning and we are excited with—and for—you!

In your Final Project, you will reflect on what you and your classmates have accomplished over this term and how it has prepared you for academic success and meeting the professional and personal goals you had in mind when you enrolled at Walden. As a member of the Walden community, you are motivated to effect positive social change and participate actively in this group of scholars.

After watching the Scholars of Change videos, you might think you are not prepared to create the types of social change that these Walden students did. Social change can, indeed, be far reaching, affecting the lives of individuals across many countries and regions of the world. However, social change can also be relatively small and focused, improving the lives of single individuals, your colleagues, a family, a community. Those lives, in turn, will impact others. It is not the size of the change but the intent, focus, purpose, and spirit of advocacy and benevolence that creates ripples of hope for you and others.

Learning Objectives

You will:

  • Analyze APA ethical principles
  • Analyze the relationship between ethical principles and positive social change
  • Create professional development plans that reflect personal and professional goals

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