Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Universal ethics (?)

Morality. It's one of those concepts that lacks a prescriptive answer. Most of us know the universal taboos. And some of us venture into the negative realms despite knowing better.

While I've been looking through my books and old notes for the sake of writing this paper, I came across some concepts I bolded, capitalized, and underlined all over the place. Why? Because this relatively simple concept does not apply solely to the mental health profession.

Ethically speaking- not legally, we are "required" to take four questions into account when making a serious decision. Looking over the questions I realized how universal they are. Would I not ideally think about these ideas before doing anything rash? Honestly, now I would but 20 year old me probably not so much.

Remley & Herlihy (2010) asks us to consider four self-tests before making a final decision or once it is made:
            1) Think about justice—Would you treat others the same?
            2) Would you suggest someone else to take similar action?
            3) Would you be willing to have others know how you acted?
            4) Do you have lingering feelings of doubt or uncertaininty about what you did?
One of the aspects that initially drew me to psychology way back when was the fact that it's all-embracing knowledge.  I might quadruple my bank account as a business major, but have no idea how to relate to others. Knowing about basic mental processes can be beneficial in any situation: in intimate (or not so much so) relationships, at work, when reading etcetc.

Yes I whine and complain about school sometimes. But I love learning. So I copied these questions down and put them up on my inspiration board. Maybe it'll help me curb the random bursts of selfish jealousy that creep up on me.

Because in al honesty, if I can't apply concepts to my own personal life, how am I supposed to be able to help others with theirs?


  1. Good set of questions-- that seems to pretty much cover the bases!

  2. These questions are great and very thought-provoking. I love to hear about the reasons why you chose to study psychology and I think they make a lot of sense. This is one of my current curiosities - why people end up doing what they do with their lives...

    I am currently drafting my second novel, one that needs a fair bit of psychological research. Would you be willing to chat about some questions I have. Let me know!

  3. @Su
    Exactly! All the basics in the simplest form!

  4. @Aidan Donnelley Rowley

    It IS fascinating to hear why people do what they do! And I'd love to chat if I can be of any help. If I can't personally I'll at least try to give you some resources that hopefully may help!