A concept mapping study of ethical alignment in professional psychology
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This study sought to develop a model of ethical alignment in professional psychology using Trochim’s concept mapping methodology. Individuals from three stakeholder groups (trainees, practitioners, and gatekeepers) participated in three phases of research: (1) Brainstorming characteristics of ethical alignment ( N =37); (2) Sorting the brainstorming statements into categories ( N =33); and (3) Rating the statements on their importance and feasibility in daily practice ( N =32). Using multidimensional scaling and hierarchical cluster analysis, a five-cluster model was determined to best represent the data; it depicts an ethically aligned psychologist as one who is conscientious, flexibly integrates information in ethical decision-making, follows guidelines, practices the "golden rule" in client interactions, and obtains feedback from the outside via training, research and consultation. These results can help improve training, develop a measure of ethical practice, and assess alignment of practitioners.