The Assessment of Differing Presentation Stimuli on Professional Ethics Judgments of Counselors-in-training
Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Institution Granting Degree
Cedarville University School or Department
Richard E. Pearson
Counselors, counseling, ethics, presentation stimuli, counselors-in-training
The researcher investigated the impact which three presentation stimuli had on the professional ethics judgments of graduate counseling students. A test of ethical discrimination [based on the code of ethics of the American Counseling Association (ACA), American Psychological Association (APA), and Association of Social Workers (ASW)] was used. The test was administered to graduate counseling students who were in the final weeks of their graduate courses in the ethics of counseling.
In particular, research participants (N = 60) were secured from four (4) colleges/universities. Students were enrolled in master's-level counseling ethics courses. They were randomly assigned into one of three groups: Pencil & Paper, Video, and Role Play. Participants in each group were given the same test of ethical discrimination, but took the test under varying circumstances. The Pencil & Paper group was given a straightforward test, as might typically be experienced in an ethics course. The Video group took the same test, but did so in the context of seeing ethical dilemmas portrayed in a video generated specifically for the present study. The Role Play group took the same test, but did so in the context of role playing with a trained actress--acting out the same scenario that the Video group observed on the video tape.
The results showed a significant difference in mean scores between the Video and Role Play groups at the p < .10 level. Specifically, the Role Play group made the most errors, followed by the Pencil & Paper group, while the Video group made the fewest errors in ethical discrimination.
Thus, a curvilinear relationship emerged relative to cognitive knowledge of counseling ethics and application of that knowledge in real-to-life situations. Making accurate ethical decisions may be influenced by the context in which decisions are made. Of particular note is that students may experience a pressure-of-the moment phenomenon that adversely affects acting correctly on the information they have internalized.
Firmin, M. (2000). The assessment of differing presentation stimuli on professional ethics judgments of counselors-in-training. Dissertation for a Ph.D. degree from Syracuse University. Digital Dissertations. AAT 9989373. DAI-B 61(10).