psychology discussion question

psychology discussion question


A research topic of my choice that could be studied quantitatively, “What age is appropriate to diagnose a child with autism spectrum disorder?” This research question is just based on the things that I can still learn in the field of ABA. There are quite a few questions that are interesting to me in my field. They are many ways to utilize quantitative methods to approach a study on this topic as well. There are still so many unanswered questions in the Autism department. In terms of understanding where autism is really coming from and how it is developed. Researchers are still conflicted with this approach.


In the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), I have always been interested in the difference of learning in different settings. For example, would a child benefit more from clinic, home, or community sessions? I know there is always an “it depends” type of answer but when all the best conditions are met for each environment, which one would be the most beneficial? A quantitative approach to this could be to run the same lessons with the same children the same number of times in each environment and see what they can score on each lesson. This would have to take into account multiple variables such as unique distractors in each environment and the child’s current moods

For the next two please follow the below instructions

  • Their perspectives on what the ethical code says about the scenario.
  • Their analyses of the cultural implications of the actions the faculty members are considering.
  • Their applications of all eight steps of the ethical decision-making model discussed in Chapter 3 of Decoding the Ethics Code: A Practical Guide.
  • Their resulting decisions on how to handle Karen’s situation.


Karen has been faced with difficult situations within her professional career as a second-year psychology doctoral student. Karen coming out as a lesbian as affected her work personally and professionally, which has taken a toll on her doctoral studies in school. The faculty staff suggested that Karen enter some psychological treatment to deal with some of her internal issues. In addition removing Karen from the doctoral program could cause some issues as well.

The Code of conduct 3.01 refers to obtaining informed consent from an individual for therapy, it must be written and oral consent from Karen from the university she attends. Karen must give written or oral consent to proceed with this type of treatment. It may be difficult for Karen to discuss some of her concerns to an outside party, but it also may be very helpful and give her some release of stress.

According to the Code 2.03 per “Ethical Principles Of Psychologists And Code Of Conduct” (2017), “(a) Psychologists refrain from initiating an activity when they know or should know that there is a substantial likelihood that their personal problems will prevent them from performing their work-related activities in a competent manner. (b) When psychologists become aware of personal problems that may interfere with their performing work-related duties adequately, they take appropriate measures, such as obtaining professional consultation or assistance and determine whether they should limit, suspend or terminate their work-related duties.” It is important to know if Karen is competent enough to make clear and concise decisions on her own well-being.

Karen as a Latina woman may come across some cultural effects that can harvest additional stresses in Karen’s life. Some cultural implications are noted below.

1. Social Minority
Karen being a Latina woman, and her family may be the social minority where they live. Karen coming out as a Latina lesbian, her family may feel it will become more difficult to become accepted as social minorities

“Subcultures are cultural groups within a larger cultural group that have different, sometimes more specific norms, practices, behaviors, and ways of thinking. Sometimes these differences can be quite stark, while other times they can be subtler.”
Karen’s family seems to be not accepting with her sexual orientation. Karen may be raised differently than that of the dominant culture, which can cause difficulties for the rest of her family or friends.

Fisher’s Ethical Decision-Making Model is a great way that Karen can reassess her situation personally and professionally. Karen can use Fisher’s model to work through her personally and professional situations.

  1. Create a plan to develop and maintain her professional and personal commitment to doing what she feels is right. Even though she has come out as a Latina lesbian, it does not mean it should define her as a person and dictate how well she does her job or that she changes as a person based on her sexual orientation. That should not matter professionally.
  2. Karen should remember the APA Ethics Code and General Principal guidelines to help her stay on track professionally and even personally. Some of the standards listed in the Code of Ethics can help her stay on a steady path and not let other influences interfere with her work and studies.
  3. Even if the faculty staff at her college or university recommends she take a break to collect herself, Karen should confirm that this recommendation does not cross any illegal paths based on state/federal laws or organizational policies.
  4. Karen should review the pros and cons of her situation and consult with someone outside of her family, friends, and colleagues. Gaining a perspective on how she is acting or reacting in certain situations may be useful from someone looking from the outside in.
  5. Applying steps one through four is critical to review any other alternatives to Karen’s situation. Perhaps she is enrolled as a full-time student and needs to take a break for a quarter or semester. Or, she could drop down to part-time studies until she feels ready and more comfortable to go back full-time once she focuses on herself first and foremost.
  6. Depending on what her ultimate decision may be, it may be wise for Karen to speak with a counselor off-campus and consider taking a break from school or at least study part time and implement this transition.
  7. Making notation of her daily activities, how the morning, afternoon, and evening of that given day made her feel can help her manage her feelings, emotions, and discussions with her counselor.
  8. Lastly, continuous review of her progress and making changes to her professional and educational career path may be warranted. It is crucial for Karen to take care of herself first so she can continue her studies and be a successful psychologist. If anything changes, or she feels she is ready to go back to school full-time, she can discuss that with her professors or the Dean of the university.


Karen, a psychology doctoral student, recently informed her family and friends that she was lesbian. Her family and friends have not welcomed the news and it has affected several areas of her life. Most predominantly, her academic career that is faltering under the stress of not being accepted.

The current issues are her professors may require her to undertake psychological counseling and/or disenroll her from her program.

In the psychologist’ preamble there is a statement regarding respecting and protecting civil and human rights. The two points above, fall deeply within our need as psychologists to protect Karen’s human rights. She has a right to choose her relationships, and seek an education. However, beyond that there are some violations to the general principles as well as the code of ethics.

First, we will discuss the general principles: Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence, and Principle E: Respect for people’s rights and dignity. Calling Karen out because she is having a life struggle is not providing her with dignity, and professors actions could be construed as maleficence. This aside there are also ethic’s code violations: 2.01 boundaries of competence; 3.01 unfair discrimination; 3.04 avoiding harm, and 3.05 multiple relationships (APA, 2017)

Using Fisher’s problem solving method, in order to do what is right, uphold the ethics code, and attempt to understand all sides (Fisher, 2009) We begin with Karen breaking down in class, for Karen she is unable to cope with the demands of class, and the stress of possible rejection from her family and friends. Professors, would have the obligation to inform Karen of the school’s resources, such as academic coaches or counseling and encourage her to attend. However, they may not disenroll her. Professors would also have the right to review the course syllabus and ensure she is able to cope with the demands of the course and make reasonable accommodations, if deemed fair and necessary. The professor may not enter into a “counseling” type of relationship, when the professor is already in a teaching capacity as that would be a dual relationship.

Ensuring Karen has the understanding of what is required in the course, as well as necessary accommodations, and there is a mutual understanding between the professor and Karen that would meet both their needs. Additionally, Karen would have the information to seek support if she felt it was needed.

This would meet everyone’s needs.

Disenrolling Karen, could possibly lead to discriminatory action from the family to the university. It would have widespread cultural repercussions for the LGBTQ+ community.

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