The Introduction and Applicability discuss the purpose of the code of ethics, along with how it is organized. It goes into some practical considerations as well as the scope of its application.

The code of ethics applies to the activities of the psychologist within their scientific (assessment, therapy, counseling), educational (teaching, research), and professional (industrial-organizational roles, supervision) roles.

The code does not apply to the psychologist’s private affairs, as long as they don’t mix with professional practices.

When considering ethical issues, the clinician must take into account the following entities in order of importance:

  1. client: the well-being of the client is of utmost importance
  2. public: the well-being of the general public
  3. the field of psychology: benefitting the field of psychology as a whole
  4. the clinician: protecting the personal and professional well-being of the clinician


Psychologists put forth effort to increase knowledge within the field to improve the conditions of individuals, organizations, and the society at-large. They help others and protect human rights through their practice.

General Principles

Aspirational and inspirational guidelines to set forth ideal goals. These are not obligations.

Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence

Benefit others and do no harm. Safeguard welfare of individuals we work with along with animals. When conflicts between psychologists occur, attempt to resolve informally. Never misuse influence for any benefits. Be aware of own physical and psychological health and how it can affect the ability to help others.

Principle B: Fidelity and Responsibility

Establish trust with those whom we work with. Be aware of responsibilities (professional and scientific) related to others. Uphold standards, clarify roles, and manage conflicts without harm. Contribute some time to pro bono services.

Principle C: Integrity

Be accurate, honest, and truthful in professional practices. Don’t engage is fraudulent activities or intentional misrepresentation of facts. Keep promises and commitments. Correct any effects of deception (when appropriate).

Principle D: Justice

Be fair with all individuals in providing professional services. Be aware of potential biases, boundaries, and limitations in practice.

Principle E: Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity

Consider everyone as worthy. Protect privacy and confidentiality of others. Protect rights and welfare of others. Respect differences in culture, gender, age, race, religion, etc.