7-1 discussion: eight-step model | Psychology homework help

Module Overview17.html

The Eight-Step Ethical Decision-Making Model and Alternative Models

You can’t make decisions based on fear and the possibility of what might happen.

—Michelle Obama

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An eight-step cyclic flowchart. The steps are: one identify the problem, two establish decision criteria, three weigh decision criteria, four generate alternatives, five evaluate the alternatives, six choose the best alternative, seven implement the decision, eight evaluate the decision.

Figure 7.1 (flatworldknowledge.com)

As professionals working in the field of psychology, it behooves us to have a way to work though dilemmas that present as we engage in being of service to others. The eight-step model shown above and described in the class text is one of several models used by psychologists to step through a process with the goal of arriving at a decision that abides by the ethical code, the law, the person(s) we serve, and our own integrity. The eight-step model is considered a supported model for resolving ethical dilemmas. It is supported because it adheres to the APA Code of Ethics and because psychology professionals throughout the world use it. It is, so to speak, a tested approach to engaging in ethical dilemmas.

There are a number of other models similar to the eight-step model, but they are all based on the same components. Some are shortened to seven or even five steps. As long as the main ingredients remain, one can assume it is a supported model.

An alternative model for resolving ethical dilemma would be one that attempts to engage in specific problem solving while also using some of the components we see in the eight-step model. An example of this might be the restorative justice model, which is a part of this module’s lesson plan. Below is a diagram of how the restorative justice model works:

A Venn diagram with three overlapping circles. The circles are labeled victim reparation, communities of care reconciliation, and offender responsibility. The victim reparation circle has the phrases victim services and crime compensation; the communities of care reconciliation has the phrases offender family services and family-centered social work; and the offender responsibility circle has the phrases related community service, reparative boards, youth aid panels, and victim sensitivity training. The overlapping juncture of the victim reparation and communities of care reconciliation circles is labeled victim support circles. The overlapping juncture of the communities of care reconciliation and offender responsibility circles is labeled victimless conferences, positive discipline, and therapeutic communities. The juncture of victim reparation and offender responsibility is labeled victim resolution, victim-offender mediation. In the overlapping area of the three circles, the phrases peace circles, family group conferencing, and community conferencing appear under the heading Restorative Justice.

Figure 7.2 (iirp.edu)

As you can see, the restorative justice model deals primarily with a specific category of victim and offender psychology, responsibility, reparation, restoration, and reconciliation. The goal of healing is the core premise in this model.

Unsupported models regarding how one makes ethical decisions or behaviors associated with working through dilemmas are not highly researched or written about. The reason for this is that they are not supported and they seldom, if ever, work. Below are some diagrammatic representations that show a variety of different styles of thinking where ethics and decisions are concerned. The first demonstrates five scenarios that can get in the way of making good ethical decisions. The second speaks to parenting styles, and the third compares the ethics of Plato and Aristotle.

Example 1:

A table with five columns and three rows. The column headings are: Ill-Conceived Goals, Motivated Blindness, Indirect Blindness, The Slippery Slope, and Overvaluing Outcomes. The row headings are: Description, Example, and Remedies. The Description under Ill-Conceived Goals reads, “We set goals and incentives to promote a desired behavior, but they encourage a negative one.” The Description under Motivated Blindness reads, “We overlook the unethical behavior of others when it is in our interest to remain ignorant.” The Description under Indirect blindness is, “We hold others less accountable for unethical behavior when it is carried out through third parties.” The Description under Slippery Slope reads, “We are less able to see others' unethical behavior when it develops gradually.” The Description under Overvaluing Outcomes reads, “We give a pass to unethical behavior if the outcome is good.” The Example under Ill-Conceived Goals reads, “The pressure to maximize billable hours in accounting, consulting, and law firms leads to unconscious padding.” The Example under Motivated Blindness is, “Baseball officials failed to notice that they had created conditions that encouraged steroid use.” The Example under Indirect Blindness reads, “A drug company deflects attention from a price increase by selling rights to another company, which imposes the increase.” The Example under The Slippery Slope reads, “Auditors may be more likely to accept a client firm's questionable financial statements if infractions have accrued over time.” The Example under Overvaluing Outcomes reads, “A researcher whose fraudulent clinical trial saves lives is considered more ethical than one whose fraudulent trial leads to deaths.” The Remedy under Ill-Conceived Goals reads, “Brainstorm unintended consequences when devising goals and incentives. Consider alternative goals that may be more important to reward.” The Remedy under Motivated Blindness reads, “Root out conflicts of interest. Simply being aware of them does not necessarily reduce their negative effect on decision making.” The Remedy under Indirect Blindness reads, “When handing off or outsourcing work, ask whether the assignment might invite unethical behavior and take ownership of the implications.” The Remedy under Slippery Slope reads, “Be alert for even trivial ethical infractions and address them immediately. Investigate whether a change in behavior has occurred.” The Remedy under Overvaluing Outcomes reads, “Examine both “good” and “bad” decisions for their ethical implications. Reward solid decision processes, not just good outcomes.”

Figure 7.3 (hbr.org)

Example 2:

Comic strip that illustrates Doctor Baumrind's 5 styles of parenting. The first style is Authoritarian in which a mother hen is screaming “Do as I say exclamation mark” at the chick. The next style is Authoritative, in which the mother hen is saying, “Hey kiddo, do as I say, ok question mark.” The third style is Permissive and the mother hen is saying, “Whatever you say exclamation mark.” the next style is Uninvolved, in which the mother hen is not in the picture at all; only the chick is there. The last style is Evil Cyborg and the mother hen is screaming, “Misbehavior alert exclamation mark destroy child three exclamation marks.”

Figure 7.4 (savagechickens.com)

Example 3:

Screenshot from CelebrityTypes dot com, with Plato under the title INFJ and Aristotle under the title ENTJ. Note: Unable to read

Figure 7.5 (celebritytypes.com)