Ethical Teaching and Supervision: Hows one type of irresponsible supervision in an academic setting

Ethical Teaching and Supervision: Hows one type of irresponsible supervision in an academic setting

The example provided in the weekly Introduction, although extreme, shows one type of irresponsible supervision in an academic setting. The advisor in this example was overbearing. Conversely, some individuals in teaching, training, or other supervisory professional oversight roles may be too little involved or may engage in some other form of unethical relationship such as those that cross personal lines.

During the course of your career, you will most likely take the role of both supervisee and supervisor. Just as there are ethical codes, principles, and standards for the treatment of human subjects, there are ethical expectations for professional oversight. Psychology professionals in research and other settings benefit from becoming familiar with common ethical dilemmas and examples of professional oversight and how ethical principles relate to them.

For this week’s Discussion, return to the interactive media titled “The Lab.” ( This time, go through the simulation taking on the role of Aaron Hutchinson, the principal investigator.

1. Write a brief description of one of the principal investigator’s ethical dilemmas related to professional oversight depicted in the media titled “The Lab” and explain why it is a dilemma.

2. Using specific references to the media as well as your Learning Resources explain which ethical principle is most relevant to the dilemma and describe how you would ethically resolve the situation.


Bersoff, D. (Ed.). (2008). Ethical conflicts in psychology (4th ed.). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

•Chapter 3, “Learning Ethics” (pp. 117–157)
•Chapter 8, “Academia: Research, Teaching, and Supervision” (pp. 385–451)

Fisher, C. B. (2013). Decoding the ethics code: A practical guide for psychologists (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.

• Chapter 3, “The APA Ethics Code and Ethical Decision Making” (pp. 29-44)
• Chapter 10, “Standards on Education and Training” (pp 205-216)

National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. (2009). On being a scientist: A guide to responsible conduct in research. Washington, DC: Author.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (Producer.) (2001). The lab: An interactive video on avoiding misconduct. Washington, DC: USDHHS: Office of Research.
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