An ethical decision-making model for operational psychology

Ethics and Behavior 17 (1):61 – 82 (2007)

Operational psychology is an emerging subdiscipline that has enhanced the U.S. military's combat capabilities during the Global War on Terrorism. What makes this subdiscipline unique is its use of psychological principles and skills to improve a commander's decision making as it pertains to conducting combat (or related operations). Due to psychology's expanding role in combat support, psychologists are being confronted with challenges that require the application of their professional ethics in areas in which little if any guidance has been provided. Operational psychologists are at the forefront of this expansion. Accordingly, they need a decision model to assist them in this complex dynamic environment. To this end, this article reviews various decision models and ethical frameworks, selects the most appropriate, and then applies it to the challenges faced by operational psychologists. A naturalistic decision model that integrates rational and intuitive elements is recommended.
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DOI 10.1080/10508420701310091
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