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Ethical Decision Making: The Relation Between Money and Professional Practice

Ethical Decision Making Paper
"The relation between money and professional practice."- Approved Topic
Write a 1,400- to 1,750-word paper based on your selected ethical dilemma. Be sure to address the following items in your paper:
•Describe your selected ethical dilemma.
•Apply each one of the first 14 steps (located in Ch. 9) in the ethical decision making process to your selected issue. Chapter 9 attached
•Explain the importance of ethical decision making in professional psychology.


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Ethics and Psychology:
The Relation Between Money and Professional Practice

The Rockefeller Foundation has financed Behaviorism from its origins to the present day. At least in part, the Foundation is what brought behaviorism to the levels of professional acceptability and fame it has achieved. From Pavlov to Skinner to Yale's Institute of Human Relations, this Foundation has spent a fortune promoting behaviorism and behaviorists to an originally skeptical psychological establishment (Kay, 1992 and Smith, 1986). This is a classic and ominous example of the interference of unlimited funds on what psychologists consider to be "the truth."

Aside from the burning question as to the interests in the Rockefeller clan and promoting behaviorism to the tune of several billion dollars over the decades, the ethical issue here is how psychologists are forced to balance, in an age of shrinking budgets, financial pressure and professional, intellectual integrity.

First of all, one must first declare that as a psychologist, the hypothetical partitioner here rejects behaviorism. He does so on the following familiar grounds: It cannot make sense of human rationality, concept formation or universal ideas. In other words, outside of clear, abstract and immaterial laws of cognition and nature (including human nature), any abstract thought is impossible. Second, like all forms of radical determinism, truth claims dissolve into nothing. Since the researcher is also a part of the endless set of material causes and (invariant) effects, truth claims end up being little more than whatever the chemical structure of the human brain has been programmed to consider as true. Of course, this is far from "truth" in the normal sense of the word.

Finally, behaviorism holds (or is forced to hold) that freedom, responsibility, virtue and character formation are largely illusions. Skinner is not shy about this, but at least is honest enough to admit that there is no distinction between the researcher, his subject, the object of his analysis and the universal and cosmic chain of events and causes that are invariant and crystallized forever. It seems that it required billions of dollars to make such an approach accepted, or even taken seriously.

More specifically, our practice has been offered a desperately needed $ 10 million from the Rockefeller Foundation in New York to adopt a purely behavioral program. At first, the staff was elated and flattered that such a powerful group would seek to finance our work. After all, that puts us on the same level as the dozens of Institutes (Human relations, Tavistock, etc) that the Foundation has financed in the past. Soon, once the novelty was worn down, the staff came to three conclusions: a) we don't accept positivism or behaviorism and hold it to be distorting of the human mind, b) ...

Solution Summary

The relations between money and professional practices are provided.