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Professional Ethics and Deontology 2016/2017

  • 4 ECTS
  • Taught in Portuguese
  • Both continuous and final Assessment


1. Develop skills in ethical reasoning.

2. Identify the main concepts of professional ethics.

3. Clear understanding od psychologist ethical principles.

4. Know how to use an ethics code.

5. Be able to reflect in a autonomous way about an ethical dillemma in psychology.

Recommended Prerequisites

Theories of ethical reasoning

Teaching Metodology

Lectures; Exercises; Skills development based on the use of the library and other sources of knowledge; Sase studies; Practical work

Body of Work

1. Ethics and person in psychology. Person and relation. Deontology as profession regulation and public confidence. Revisions.

2. Ethical reasoning and psychology ethical principls. revisions.

3. Psychology and informed consent.

4. Psychology and privacy.

5. Ethical dillemmas in psychological assessment.

6. Ethical dillemmas in psychological intervention.

7. Ethical dillemmas in psychological reasearch.

Recommended Bibliography

Beauchamp, T., & Childress, J. (2002). Principios de ética biomédica. Barcelona: Masson, S.A. (Do original: Principles of Biomedical Ethics, 1994 (4th Edition)).

Bersoff, D. N. (Ed). (1999). Ethical Conflicts in Psychology. 2nd edition. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association

Engelhardt, H. T. (1998). Fundamentos da Bioética. São Paulo: Edições Loyola. (Do original: The Foundations of Bioethics, 2nd edition, 1996)

Knapp, S. J. & Vandecreek, L. D. (2006). Practical ethics for psychologists: A positive approach. Washington DC, American Psychological Association

Koocher, G. P. & Keith-Spiegel, P. (1998). Ethics in Psychology. Professional standards and cases. 2nd edition. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc.

Pope, K. & Vasquez, M. (2001). Ethics in Psychotherapy and Counseling. A practical guide. 2nd edition. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

Ricou, M. (2014). A ética e a deontologia no exercício da psicologia. Lisboa: Ordem dos Psicólogos Portugueses.

Complementary Bibliography

Mill, J. S. (2004). Utilitarismo. Lisboa: Lisboa Editora. (Do original: Utilitarism, 1863)

Nunes, R. (2005). Regulação da Saúde. Porto: Vida Económica

Potter, V. (1970). “Bioethics, the science of survival”. Perspectives in Biology and Medicine. Autumn, pp. 127-153

Rawls, J. (1993). Uma teoria da justiça. Lisboa: Editorial Presença. (Do original: A Theory of Justice, 1971)

Rego, G. & Nunes, R. (2010). Gestão da Saúde. Lisboa: Prata & Rodrigues Publicações, Lda.

Ricou, M. (2005). “The Urgency of an Ethics Code of Conduct for Portuguese Psychologists”. International Psychology Reporter, Vol. 9, n.º 2, Spring/Summer, pp. 19-20

Silva, P. M. (1997). Convenção dos Direitos do Homem e da Biomedicina anotada. Lisboa: Edições Cosmos

Singer, P. (1994). Ética Prática. 1ª edição brasileira. São Paulo: Livraria Martins Fontes Editora, Lda. (Do original: Practical Ethics. 2nd edition, 1993)

Weekly Planning

1 - Presentation

2 - Ethics concepts.

3 - Ethical reasoning concepts.

4 - Ethical principles dimensions.

5 - Informed consent in psychology. Normality and communication.

6 - Informed consent in psychology. Other questions.

7 - Privacy and confidenciality. Envolved priniples.

8 - Exceptions to privacy.

9 - Ethics and psychological assessment. Reports and files.

10 - Dillemmas in psychological intervention. Child, group and family intervention.

11 - Long distance intervention. Media and psychology. Publicity and psychology.

12 - Psychology reasearch.

13 - Students presentations.

14 - Students presentations.

15 - Revisions.

Demonstration of the syllabus coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

1. Develop skills in ethical reasoning. Understand the concepts linked to ethics, know how we think and make decisions and traning the discussion of ethical dillemmas.

2. Understand the most important concepts linked to professional ethics. The student should be aware of the most commom dillemmas in psychology.

3. Know how to use the psychologist ethical principles in pratical ethical dillemmas discussions.

4. Know how to use an ethics code. It is more important to know the priniples linked to the code articles than the articles it self.

Demonstration of the teaching methodologies coherence with the curricular unit's objectives

The adoption of a wide variety of techniques pretend to promote the students attention and interest. Psychology it's a profession based on professional autonomy, so it is important to develop the students resposibility, personal envolvment and work group.

relevant generic skillimproved?assessed?
Achieving practical application of theoretical knowledgeYesYes
Adapting to new situationsYesYes
Analytical and synthetic skillsYesYes
Balanced decision makingYesYes
Bargaining abilityYesYes
Commitment to effectiveness  
Commitment to quality  
Cultural awarenessYes 
Ethical and responsible behaviourYesYes
Event organization, planning and managementYesYes
Foreign language proficiency  
Information and learning managementYesYes
Initiative and entrepreneurship capability  
Problem Analysis and AssessmentYesYes
Relating to othersYes 
Research skillsYes 
Understanding multiculturalism and valuing diversityYesYes
Written and verbal communications skillsYesYes
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