Social responsibility ethics: Doing right, doing good, doing well

Ethics and Behavior 3 (3 & 4):303 – 327 (1993)
The ethics of social responsibility is discussed in reference to six case vignettes drawn from forensic psychology. A definitional model of social responsibility is proposed, and two unequal components of the concept - respect for the individual and concern for social welfare - are identified. The sources of ethical conflict in regard to social responsibility are enumerated. Scholarly criticism of the value orientation of forensic psychology is reviewed, and forensic psychology is contrasted with social policy advocacy efforts made by organized psychology. The social responsibility obligations of psychologists in the microethical sphere, where their actions affect individuals, are diffentiated from the obligations psychology has when operating in the macroethical sphere of social policy. The ethical problems inherent in policy advocacy brought about by individual psychologists working with individuals are underscored: the inevitable element of deception, the violation of role integrity, and the circumvention of social structures and institutions that safeguard the rights of individuals.
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