Ethical Concerns Psychology
AASP is dedicated to the development and professionalization of the field of sport psychology. As we establish ourselves as a profession, we must attend to both the privileges and responsibilities of a profession. Privileges derive from society's agreement to accept our designation as a group of trained individuals possessing specialized knowledge and, therefore, the power implicit in this knowledge. Our responsibilities, in turn, result from the society’s trust that the profession will regulate itself to do no harm, and to govern itself to ensure the dignity and welfare of individuals we serve and the public. To maintain this status, professional organizations must develop and enforce guidelines that regulate their members’ professional conduct. A code of ethical principles and standards is one such set of self-regulatory guidelines. This code guides professionals to act responsibly as they employ the privileges granted by society. A profession’s inability to regulate itself violates the public’s trust and undermines the profession’s potential to be of service to society.
Ethical codes of conduct that professions adopt are based in the values of the society. Consequently, these values include the balance between the rights and privacy of the individual and the general welfare of society. Each profession must determine its values and social function. The profession must then develop and adopt an ethics code which guides professional conduct. While no set of guidelines can anticipate all situations, a useful code should provide guidance when problems or dilemmas arise. This code should also proactively direct the actions of its members in work-related settings. If this is accomplished, the code will ensure society’s trust in the profession.
The Association for Applied Sport Psychology’s (AASP) Ethical Principles and Standards (hereinafter referred to as the Ethics Code) is presented here and consists of this Introduction, a Preamble, six general Principles, and 26 Standards. The Introduction discusses the intent and organizational considerations of the Ethics Code. The Preamble and General Principles are intended to guide AASP members toward the highest ideals of the profession. The Standards more precisely specify the boundaries of ethical conduct. Although the Preamble and the General Principles are not themselves enforceable rules, they should be considered by AASP members in arriving at an ethical course of action. Ethical Standards are enforceable rules that mandate behavioral choices.
Membership in the AASP commits members to adhere to the AASP Ethics Code. AASP members should be aware that, in many situations, additional ethical and legal codes may be applied to them by other professional organizations or public bodies. In the process of making decisions regarding their professional behavior, AASP members must consider this Ethics Code, in addition to other ethical guidelines or legal codes. If the Ethics Code suggests a higher standard of conduct than is required by legal codes or other ethical guidelines, AASP members should meet the higher ethical standard. If the Ethics Code standard appears to conflict with the requirements of law, then AASP members must make known their commitment to the Ethics Code and take steps to resolve the conflict in a resonsible manner. If neither law nor the Ethics Code resolves an issue, AASP members should consider other professional materials (e.g., guidelines and standards that have been adopted or endorsed by other professional physical education, sport science, and social science organizations), the dictates of their own conscience, and consultation with others within the field when this is practical.1