Chap 2 Core Ethical Principles

Presentation By:
Jessica Jaruczyk
ABA 563 Ethics for Behavior Analyst
* Ethics comes from the Greek word- Ethos: moral character
* Defined by Merrian-Webster as: conforming to accepted
professional standards of conduct.
* The rules of conduct recognized in respect to a particular class of
human actions or a particular group, culture, etc.: medical ethics
Christian ethics
* 1.0 Responsible Conduct of a Behavior Analyst
* 2.0 The Behavior Analyst's Responsibility to Clients
* 3.0 Assessing Behavior
* 4.0 The Behavior Analyst and the Individual Behavior Change Program
* 5.0 The Behavior Analyst as Teacher and/or Supervisor
* 6.0 The Behavior Analyst and the Workplace
* 7.0 The Behavior Analyst’s Ethical Responsibility to the Field of Behavior
* 8.0 The Behavior Analyst’s Responsibility to Colleagues
* 9.0 The Behavior Analyst’s Ethical Responsibility to Society
* 10.0 The Behavior Analyst and Research
* Koocher and Keith-Spiegel (1998) Outline nine ethical
principles for psychologists.
* 1. Do No Harm
* 2. Respecting Autonomy
* 3. Benefiting Others
* 4. Being Just
* 5. Being Truthful
* 6. According Dignity
* 7. Treating Others with Care & Compassion
* 8. Pursuit of Excellence
* 9. Accepting Responsibility
* “First, Do No Harm" -attributed to Hippocrates, a Greek
physician in the 4th century B.C.
* Commonly written as "Do No Harm" - this phrase appears in
the Hippocratic oath that is taken by physicians
* Areas in which a behavior analyst can do harm is:
1. Practicing outside their area of expertise
2. Not developing a responsible data collection system and
missing the significance of a behavior.
3. Not asking for the information necessary to perform ethically.
Staff members are not necessarily well versed in human
* Respecting Autonomy- to promote his or her independence or
* Basic procedures of Behavior Analysis are designed to do just
this through:
Conditioned reinforcers
Token economies
* Problems arise when it is determined that a person prefers to
keep another under his/her control.
* Autonomy can also bring risks that are not always foreseen.
* Autonomy in educational and business settings can produce
ethical issues.
 Teachers are reinforced by students who stay in their seats
and follow instructions.
 Supervisors may desire that their staff just do what they are
told and "follow directions"
* The primary role of behavior analysts is to benefit others in
whatever setting or situation they may work.
* The behavior analyst needs to make frequent checks on
"who is the client?" in any given situation.
* “The Golden Rule” or the Ethic of Reciprocity
* For Behavior Analyst- there is potential for the use of
uncomfortable stimuli or stressful contingencies in treatment
* Need to Ask: “How would I like my mother or my child to be
treated in similar circumstances?”
* Well-respected
professionals attain their reputation based on
the trust placed in them by others
* Being truthful & honest with clients, colleagues, and
administrators provides the basis for long-term relationships
* Don’t take credit that is not due to you.
* Many of the clients may not be able to effectively represent
 Non-verbal
 Unable to get someone to listen to them
* It is the job of the behavior analyst to make sure that every
client is treated with dignity and respect
* Work with clients on acquisition skills to make sure that they
are able to voice or signal their needs to those around them
* Being mindful of the language we use to talk to or about
* Clients should be addresses by name in a friendly fashion
using eye-contact and a pleasant smile.
* As a behavior analyst if you respect the autonomy of clients,
work to benefit them, and devise programs that accord them
dignity, you will automatically be treating them with dignity
and respect.
* Being aware of the latest research in the field and in your specialty
* Incorporating the most up to date
methods and procedures in your
practice of behavior analysis
* Subscribe to key journals in the field
* Attend your state association meeting / ABAI
* Watch for specialty workshops offered in your area
* Take graduate seminars
* The BCBA requires BCBA’s to acquire continuing education hours
each year
* When treatments fail you must take responsibility, accepting blame
and make corrections to satisfy your client
* Behavior analysts do not begin their ethical training
in graduate
* Developmental psychologists would argue that one’s ethical
standards are fairly set by the time a child ventures into junior high
* Personal ethical
situations confront people everyday
* Need for Code of Responsible Conduct
* It is the hope that behavior analyst will come to see
the value in adopting a set of responsible behaviors
that will advance the profession and provide respect
to this important new field of psychology
* Scenario # 1 – Respecting Autonomy
* Scenario # 2 – Being Just
* Scenario # 3 – Do No Harm
* Scenario # 4 – Benefiting Others
* Scenario # 5 – Being Truthful
* Scenario # 6 – Treating Others with Caring
* Scenario # 7 – According Dignity
* Scenario # 8 – Accepting Responsibilit
* Scenario # 9 – Pursuit of Excellence
& Compassion
Bailey, J.S., & Burch, M. R. (2010). Twenty-five essential skills &
strategies for the professional behavior analyst. New York:
Routledge Publishing.

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