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Davis (2008) explains the reasons for a preamble to “state the reasons for having a code, explain who is covered and why, and present a rationale for everyone covered to do as the code requires” (p 52). The general principles section of the code of ethics is to guide psychologists towards the highest ethical ideals that they should aim to practice and pursue in their work. Between the preamble and general principles, psychologists would be able to gain a solid understanding of what is expected regarding how they test and treat clients. Within the code of ethics, the general principles are listed as beneficence and nonmaleficence, fidelity and responsibility, integrity, justice, and respect for people’s rights and dignity (“Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct”, 2002). After reviewing these principles, I think that Principle A stands out as one of the most impactful and influential. Principle A is Beneficence and Nonmaleficence and essentially is stating that they will strive to do no harm and when an issue arises, they will seek to handle it responsibly so they can avoid/minimize harm. This is important because it sets a general standard to help keep anyone involved safe. I can see how many of the other principles support this and may even be a part of it to some degree.


Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. (2002). American Psychologist57(12), 1060–1073.

Davis, M. (2008). Thinking through the issues in a code of ethics. New Directions for Higher Education142, 55–73.

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