Technology, Professional Practice, and Ethics: Survey Findings and Implications

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Abstract

If a psychologist loses treatment records because of a computer failure, is it an ethical violation? The widespread growth of technology has outpaced the development of ethical standards for questions such as this, resulting in areas of uncertainty for psychologists. Four hundred twenty psychologists in independent practice rated the ethicality and their frequency of using 40 technologies. Technologies pertaining to the support functions of a psychologist's office are commonly used, but those technologies directly affecting clinical services are rarely used. More than half of the 40 items received equivocal ratings on ethicality, suggesting psychologists need guidelines and training for the use of technology in professional practice.

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