Ethical Challenges in the Undergraduate Context: Navigating the Ethical Landscape

Document Type


Publication Date



Although the American Psychological Association (APA) (Guidelines for the Undergraduate Major, 2007) recommends that students learn about the APA Ethics Code (Goal 2, Point 1, Subpoint e), most undergraduate programs do not offer a course in ethics (Stoloff et al., 2010), and only limited training, usually in the context of research methods or experimental psychology is provided. Most texts in these courses include a historical account of some of the most egregious ethical violations in humansubjects research, how these incidents spurred the development of legal regulations and ethical codes of conduct, and how research should be ethically conducted. Quite often, students may be directed to a web tutorial (e.g., for additional training, certification, and background information. In fact, student researchers must receive training in ethics if they are to be involved, in any capacity, in research. Although training in research ethics is extremely important and relevant, the APA’s Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (hereafter referred to as the Ethics Code; APA, 2010) provides guidance for the broader set of professional activities of a psychologist. The purpose of this article is to look beyond regulatory guidelines and address the two ethical arenas that we consider more likely to affect undergraduate students, namely authorship and boundaries.

This document is currently not available here.