Unethical refers to an action or conduct which violates the principles of one or more ethical systems, or which is counter to an accepted ethical value, such as honesty.
In the psychology context, unethical refers to actions or behaviors that are considered to be morally wrong or harmful, and that violate ethical standards or principles. Ethical standards are guidelines or principles that are used to guide the behavior of professionals, such as psychologists, and to ensure that their actions are responsible, respectful, and beneficial to those they serve.
Examples of unethical behavior in the psychology context include:
- Engaging in sexual relationships with clients or patients
- Misleading or deceiving clients or research participants
- Misusing or disclosing confidential information
- Failing to obtain informed consent from research participants or clients
- Engaging in research practices that are harmful or unethical
Unethical behavior can have serious consequences, including damage to the reputation of the profession, harm to clients or research participants, and legal or disciplinary action. Psychologists and other mental health professionals are expected to adhere to ethical standards in order to ensure that their actions are responsible, respectful, and beneficial to those they serve.