Role of Ethics
The role of the forensic psychologist in relation to the ethical implications of Kathy’s case is to conduct a psychological evaluation on Kathy while maintaining objectivity and professionalism. This means that the psychologist must adhere to the ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct to ensure he maintains ethicality through the process. According to the code of conduct, psychologists are expected to act with integrity. It means they should maintain accuracy, truthfulness, and honesty (“Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct,” n.d.). In this case, for example, the psychologist must maintain truthfulness about the psychological condition of Kathy without deception. In other words, they must deliver the results without compromise.
The primary risk of implementing forensic psychology practices is that the psychologist could have personal biases. This involves inclining on one side or making prejudices against one party. In this case, the psychologist could have an expectancy effect, which means having preconceived expectations about an outcome (Bartholomew et al., 2019). For example, if the psychologist has dealt with such a case before, he might preconceive that Kathy is mentally disturbed, forming a conclusion that is not validated. Another bias is selective attention, where the psychologist would only give attention to one party of interest (Syrus, 2011). In this case, since he is a psychologist, he is likely to provide more attention to Kathy and could favor her over the city, causing injustice. Lastly is favoring the city as a result of a bribe. The city could bribe the psychologist because the city has a lot of money to manipulate Kathy’s evaluation results.
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The recommended course of action is the psychologist should adhere to ethical principles of psychologists and the code of conduct. In this case, he must strive to avoid prejudices o preconceived expectations. He should carry out the evaluation and observe the results as they are. Also, the psychologist should be guided by the principles of integrity and justice to all parties. This means he should avoid taking bribes or inclining to favor one party. He can achieve this by being confident to take up the role of a judge.
Implications of Diversity
It is vital to consider the diversity factors involved in a case as a forensic psychologist as they could have some influence. More especially, it is crucial to consider the defendant, Kathy. Not being sensitive or culturally aware of clients’ differences could result in misunderstandings (Landrine, 1992). For example, Kathy is not a professional, and the case states that she only reached high school and has no formal training to volunteer. In that case, the education level could have contributed to her action. Also, she has undergone clinical depression severally, meaning she could have a diverse character and thinking. If the psychologist is not sensitive to her differences, he could misunderstand her behavior and deliver ineffective services.
As much as the psychologist will uphold integrity and professionalism, I would recommend he consider Kathy’s mental health and level of education. Kathy has been undergoing clinical depression since she was 14, and that diverse factor could have caused her emotional harm. However, I would also recommend that the psychologist deeply evaluate Kathy’s mental health to ensure that Kathy is actually emotionally harmed and the action could have resulted from that.
The best way to ensure cultural competency when working with clients from different cultures and backgrounds is to educate psychologists on the practices, beliefs, values, and mores of the populations they serve (Franco, 2020). Education will make them aware of what makes up the population and how they should work with them. This way, they will understand clients in their context, avoiding prejudices and misjudgments.
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Bartholomew, T. T., Gundel, B. E., Li, H., Joy, E. E., Kang, E., & Scheel, M. J. (2019). The meaning of therapists’ hope for their clients: A phenomenological study. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 66(4), 496-507. https://doi.org/10.1037/cou0000328
Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. (n.d.). https://www.apa.org. https://www.apa.org/ethics/code/
Franco, F. (2020, February 19). Cultural competence in psychology. Find a Psychologist. https://www.findapsychologist.org/cultural-competence-in-psychology-by-dr-fabiana-franco/#:~
Landrine, H. (1992). Clinical implications of cultural differences: The referential versus the indexical self. Clinical Psychology Review, 12(4), 401-415. https://doi.org/10.1016/0272-7358(92)90124-q
Syrus, P. (2011, March 21). Confirmation bias, ethics, and mistakes in forensics. Forensic Pathways. https://www.forensic-pathways.com/confirmation-bias-ethics-and-mistakes-in-forensics/