The Ethical Decision Making Models

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Ethical Decision-Making Models Decision-making in the field of psychology refers to a cognitive process that results in a selection among multiple possible solutions in a situation (Colman, 2008). Decision-making is based on available information from the environment as well as intrinsic information and existing schemas (Rogerson, Gottlieb, Handelsman, Knapp & Younggren, 2011). These internal schemas, along with knowledge and personal preferences, influence the decision-making process. Ethical decision-making differs from "normal" decision-making in that ethical standards influence the decision maker 's choice (Rogerson et al., 2011). Numerous professions and organization adhere to some form of ethical standards including business,…show more content…
In level 3, the counselor makes decisions that society and laws would approve of (societal). Level 4 (individual) refers to the counselors decisions that are based on the needs of the client while at the same time adhering to laws and right and others. Level 5 refers to the counselor’s ability to make decisions based on self-chosen principles of conscience and internal ethical schemas (principles). Levels 1 and 2 are considered to be low while levels 4 and 5 are considered to have high levels of moral developments. Models of moral development have been integrated into the first models of ethical decision-making (Cottone & Claus, 2000). There are several ethical decision making models including Kritchner 's model, social constructivism, and organizational-based models that take into consideration organizational factors and moral intensity. One of the first models for ethical decision-making was developed in 1984 by Kritchener according to Cottone and Claus (2000). Kitchener argued that in an absence of ethical standards an individual uses personal value judgment which lead to subpar decisions. Kitchener based her model from previous model of moral development and recommended that counselors should strive to develop a deeper understanding of the implications of behaving ethically. Most decision-making models are linear and are based on rational thought (Cottone & Claus,
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