I’m working on a psychology discussion question and need support to help me understand better.
Compare and contrast your responses to those of your peers. Discuss how your perspectives have changed based on the information you learned. Where do you agree? Differ? 150 word minimum per response.
My Discussion Post: There are several ethical and legal concerns raised in the first Case Study Scenario. In this scenario, the department chairman portrays gender-based bias. There are many proffers in the department, most of them being men, but he chose to assign Jenny is a replacement for Stan. The worst-case scenario is that Jenny is not experienced in teaching biopsychology, is overworked, and is not offered any pay to take the position. According to workplace ethics, leaders should avoid discriminatory practices (Shakeel, Kruyen, & Van Thiel, 2019). Nonetheless, the law requires all organizations to prove equal opportunities in terms of duties and opportunities. Unfortunately, the department chair shows neither of these concerns. In leadership, the chair is violating the ethical principles of justice since he does not embrace equality and the ethical principle of respect since he insists that Jenny should take the position not respecting her decision. One advantage of teaching the class to Jenny is that she will learn a new subject and advance the knowledge she had about biopsychology. However, she is inexperienced, and the students may fail to gain enough from her.
Other ethical concerns raised in the case are fairness and honesty (De Cremer & Moore, 2020). From Jenny’s and Rhoda’s discussion, it is evident that the chair is treating women unfairly by overworking them. This is unethical and also against the law. He is also not honest with Jenny concerning the position and why he is not assigning the role to any male professor. To deal with this issue, Jenny should address the matter to the chair; if he does not change his behavior, she should report him to the school organization’s committee.
Discussion One (respond give feedback to the post)
Bill’s attempt to delegate this class to Jenny with the knowledge that she does not have the appropriate competence for teaching this course has him violating Standard 2.05 (APA, 2017). If they are in a tight enough turn-around window that Bill needs a response by the end of the day it is unlikely that Jenny can advance to the necessary level of competence in time for the start of the semester, forcing Jenny into a violation of 2.01 Boundaries of Competence (APA, 2017) in addition to Bill’s competency violation. Additionally, putting Jenny in a position where she is teaching a subject she knows little about could lead to a violation of Standard 7.01 or Standard 7.03, as they require ensuring the class program and syllabi are appropriate, current, and accurate (APA, 2017). Given Jenny’s last interaction with said material was in undergrad, she cannot comment on current changes, nor does she likely have the necessary competence to ensure the material is appropriate and accurate.
In addition to the standards detailed above, Bill’s actions violate ethical principles as well. Incorporating the discussion about potential employment advancement, especially integrated between his brushing off of his employee’s concerns and his immediate timeframe setting limiting Jenny’s window of consideration, he is violating Principle B of the APA Code of Ethics (2017). As Jenny’s boss, Bill is allowing the organizational factors of his supervisor status over Jenny to influence their interactions. Furthermore, as he is not acknowledging Jenny’s emotional concerns and clear physical distress in picking up this class, he could be undermining the trust relationship that is primary to Principle B: Fidelity and Responsibility (APA, 2017). He is also violating Principle C: Integrity as his pursuing of a teacher without necessary competence does not promote accuracy of education (APA, 2017) for this class. Likewise, Bill’s potential dangling of the full-time professorial position could be construed as an example of cheating (APA, 2017), as he is either misrepresenting facts of his capabilities, or is promising to rig a potential employment opportunity contingent on Jenny’s acquiescence. Instating of such potential quid pro quo could negatively influence Jenny’s inclination towards unethical, though pro-organizational, behavior (Umphress, Bingham, and Mitchell, 2010).
Jenny has numerous pros and cons interplaying in this decision. If she were to teach this course, in the future she would have an expanded number of courses available for her to teach, as she would have become used to the material, giving her options for more flexibility and varied material within her schedule. It may also ingratiate Jenny with her employers, as they will note from this experience that she is flexible, driven, and willing to accept challenges with grace. Employees are more likely to proceed with atypical or unethical behavior, when they perceive themselves to be in a position of potential reciprocal benefits in the workplace (Umphress, et al. 2010). However, Jenny has already shared that she does not know the subject material well, which could lead to a steep learning curve and a higher potential for stress either as she attempts to learn the material or as she teaches something she is not confident with, as well as a potential risk for guilt as she proceeds with something she knows to be unethical, regardless of potential quid pro quo (Umphress, et al., 2010).
Case Study Scenario 2
Rhonda and Jenny’s conversation indicates a potential for Standard 3.01 violations in the university psychology department, whether that discrimination be gender oriented against women or occupational, disfavoring part-time professors compared to full-time professors. A repeated history of employees like Rhonda and Jenny being given more difficult work or less compensation than their male or full-professor counterparts may be a result of microaggressions in the professoriate (Haynes-Baratz, Bond, Allen, Li, & Metinyurt, 2021). If gender oriented, Rhonda and Jenny might be experiencing the results of benevolent sexism (Lease, Shuman, & Gage, 2020) as their bosses may load them with work with the expectation that women are less likely to complain, or Bill’s appealing to Jenny’s emotions regarding the 15 abandoned students as he may attempt to play to the more maternal or emotional stereotypes of women.
A secondary ethical issue occurs now if Jenny pursues this class according to the terms Bill offered her, as Jenny has blatantly stated to Rhonda that she doesn’t feel the situation is right. As such, if Jenny proceeds and accepts the class without any acknowledgement of her concerns, she will violate ethical standard 1.03 Conflicts Between Ethics and Organizational Demands (APA, 2017). Jenny has the ethical responsibility to clarify the ethical conflict and attempt to resolve it (APA, 2017), rather than knowingly step into a potentially unethical scenario.
Considering these concerns, Jenny cannot accept Bill’s current offer. However, she could adjust the offer to address the ethical concerns present. A solution would be if Jenny reached out to Bill and offered to co-teach the class with a fellow professor, ideally one with the necessary competence. This would ensure that the students are not suffering due to Standard 7.01 and Standard 7.03 violations, while allowing Jenny to follow Standard 2.03 in developing competence through the work and education of her coworker (APA, 2017) rather than her violating 2.01. Given the barrier between women and positions of higher power or influence in many universities (Haynes-Baratz, et al., 2021), Jenny could alleviate her concerns about gender discrimination and aid in broaching this barrier by specifically requesting a co-teacher who is both male and a full professor, such as Rhonda’s suggestion of Alan. Increasing coworking and interpersonal communication between Jenny and her male colleagues could introduce more feminine culture into the workplace (Lease, et al., 2020) as it would place her on equal footing with a male counterpart. If this were to be followed through on, Jenny’s concerns about her ability to teach the class, as well as her misgivings about the psychology department’s system, would likely be sufficiently handled, allowing Jenny to gain the skills and advantages of teaching this class without her violating Standard 1.03 or any of the other standards that led to 1.03’s consideration.
Discussion Two (respond give feedback to post)
Ethical and legal concerns
There are several ethical and legal concerns raised in this multiculturalism scenario. One, there is a concern asking a professor with minimal experience to teach a significant college class needed to graduate. Second, bribing the professor with a full-time position and pressuring her to think that if she does not teach Stan’s biopsychology course, she might ruin her chances for the job in the future (APA, 2019).Third, a legal concern is that the department chair enforces an unreasonable boundary of needing to know the professor’s decision later that day. This pressure does not allow for the professor to make an informed decision. Lastly, as the department chair leaves, he states that the department chair will find someone else if the professor passes up the teaching opportunity. The build-up of career advancement, managing the pressure and leaving the conversation with the possibility of finding someone else goes the professor in an ethical bind. Overall, the department chair did not respect the professor’s time, rights, dignity, and personal growth by pressuring her into a teaching position where she feels inexperienced.
APA ethical standards
Thus, to make clear ethical decisions, one has to understand ethical standards that guide the field of psychology and one’s specialization.By practicing clear ethical thinking, one creates a ‘pro-active approach to life’s difficult situations instead of engaging in reactionary behaviors which impact one’s ethical decisions.(Carter, 2015; Barnette, Behnke, Rosenthal, & Koocher, 2007).Therefore, one needs time to break down ethical decisions and consider many perspectives before making an informed decision and take appropriate action. The ethical standards include beneficent and nonmaleficence, fidelity and responsibility, integrity, justice, respect for people’s rights, and dignity (Fisher, 2017). The awareness that psychologists need to identify the best interest of those they work with is beneficence and nonmaleficence. If a situation threatens the welfare of the individual, the psychologist needs to maximize the greatest good for those they work to serve. Second, fidelity and responsibility are to be aware of one’s obligations to the individuals and the communities they serve and the professional law. Third, integrity is to correct misconceptions or mistrusts with those one helps. Justice and respect for people’s rights and dignity note that psychologists need to identify individual or group vulnerabilities and minimize unfair situations. Lastly, psychologists need to practice and respect the people they serve autonomy, privacy, and dignity. These five guiding principles are the guiding posts to address any situation in psychology.
Despite the department chair interrupting the professor without an e-mail or notice, and there are many ethical principles the chair is violating. The department chair is making decisions based on a duty-based ethics system (BBC, n.d). Meaning, the logical and right thing to do is to make sure that the course is covered and the students can graduate regardless of how that impacts the professors. In addition, the chair focuses on what is good for the greater community and is willing to pressure the professor into an uncomfortable situation. Thinking of the greater good is considered communitarianism ethical thinking. Like duty-based ethics, communitarianism feels how the action will benefit the more extensive group instead of the individual; however, duty-based ethics differs due to its absolute and unyielding values. Second, the department chair violated the beneficence and nonmaleficence principle by not identifying the best interest for all involved. It appears his interest was solely making sure the class graduates. Third, the chair did not practice justice and did not consider the professor’s race/sex and experience as a woman of color to be asked to take something extra on without compensation. Lastly, the chair was not respectful of the professor’s unique expertise and her concern about teaching a class she is not prepared for.
Pros and con’s for teaching the course
There is a mixture of pros and cons for teaching the course. The professor’s pros can advance in her career, learn new skills, and help her department in need. However, the cons include fear related to her ability to teach the course, not being appropriately compensated for her time and effort, setting up a boundary system where her department expects her to do more work without compensation.
Case Study Scenario
First, the professor discusses her concerns in a cafeteria setting where other professors could be hearing her conversation. There could be legal consequences for discussing these matters in a public space where students or other faculty might overhear the conversation. Second, the fellow professor hints at sexism at the workplace and the department being a ‘boys club’ (Carter, 2015). Third, the discussion about appropriate compensation for teaching the course in public can be seen as a legal and ethical violation. Lastly, the professor’s concern about her competency to teach the class is an ethical dilemma that she needs to consider and take appropriate action to alleviate her situation.
Therefore the professor has some choices she can make. She can discuss her concerns with the department chair directly and inquire about the compensation and possibly additional training to teach the course. Also, she can ask to co-teach it with a teacher who has experience in biopsychology (APA, 2019). By asking to have a co-teacher, the professor is practicing justice, beneficence, and nonmaleficence. She is getting the proper compensation; the students will get the appropriate and competent course work and experience to graduate. If the department chair is unwilling to be flexible and discuss the professor’s concerns, she would then consult with her HR department and discuss her concerns with them.