The first article focuses on whether psychological codes of ethics are morally oblique, authored by Thomas Teo. The researcher hypothesizes that both American and Canadian moral code in their current form are not equipped to address challenges like epistemological violence. The second hypothesis is that the codes are not immune to ideological changes especially with regard to war on terror and lastly the researcher hypothesizes that the psychological codes are blind or inarticulate with regard to issues touching on financial conflicts of interest that are observed in recent versions of Diagnostics and statistical manuals. The researcher uses examples derived from academic papers and also psychological practices; the researcher hopes to uncover the discrepancies between the psychological codes that make them lack flexibility. The first issue tackled in the paper concerns epistemological violence in psychological practice; epistemological violence can be viewed from the context of interpreting empirical information; psychological research provide both empirical information and theoretical interpretations made by the researcher. Most time the empirical data does not influence the theoretical interpretation made by the researcher and thus calls for the hermeneutic process. The term epistemological violence stems from interpretations made which are detrimental to a particular person or group; for instance, Black people are naturally violent and less law-abiding as compared to their white and Asian counterparts; these are interpretations based on speculative hermeneutics and they have the potential to bring more disruption than good to the society. Both Canadian and American psychology associations address this issue by stating that psychological research should provide insight that is beneficial to the society and not do harm; the Canadian code emphasizes that research should be knowledgeable and sensitive to the cultural differences. But the proponents of scientific sexism and racism can argue that the harm to society is irrelevant with respect to the truth; others can argue that putting the harm clause in research psychology is tantamount to censorship and impede progress in psychological research. It is imperative that psychological society include statements in the code that emphasize the harm that emanate from research interpretations.
Application of psychological knowledge in the fight against terror is the next issue of interest. Both Canadian and American psychology Associations have clear code that prohibit their members from participating in acts of torture of terrorism detainees. It is imperative to understand that psychology as a profession is open to political, social influences which have always propelled the development of the discipline. The ethical code 1.02 that underpins the relationship between ethics and law was changed; in 1992, the code stated that is a psychologist’s ethics conflicted with the law, he/she was to make his contention apparent and take steps to reconcile the contention in a sober manner. But as a consequence of the happenings the September 11th, the code was modified to state that if a psychologist encountered a conflict between ethics and the law, he/she was to make his/her commitment to ethical code be known and take requisite steps to resolve the conflict. If the dilemma could not be reconciled, the psychologist would abide by the requirements of the law. It is thus apparent that political-economic influences led to the alteration of the ethical code, and both the American and Canadian psychological societies did not put requisite safeguards to prevent psychologists from engaging in torturous activities. It is necessary that when changes are made to the code, the highest standards of ethics are involved so as to prevent violation of human rights.
The final issue tackled to show the oblique nature of the psychological code is a financial conflict of interest within the psychological profession. Both Canadian and American psychological associations have clear codes that prevent their members from engaging in activities that might impair their objectivity and ultimately influence their judgment or expose the organization they work for to exploitation. But the codes are not clear when the financial interest might be beneficial to general citizens; the code is also blurry when the conflict occurred prior to the onset of a particular relationship. According to the article, DSM-IV and DSM-IV-TR panelists had preexisting financial ties with the pharmaceutical companies. It is important that members of the psychology profession report any financial ties that they with pharmaceutical companies; but a system should be formulated so as to ensure that financial interests do not impede research.
The paper lacks statistical information that would have been used to show the effect the said issues have on psychological research. It is imperative that discipline be maintained in the study of psychology especially with respect to epistemological interpretations and also finances.
The second article focuses on critical psychology, authored by Thomas Teo. The researcher hypothesizes that there is a preexisting relationship between individual subjectivity and society. The researcher intends to uncover the role of power in psychological discipline, the problem with relation to subjectivism, and the importance of reflexivity and intersubjectivity with regard to research methodologies and practices. Critical psychology has produced phenomenal results all around the globe, and it can trace its roots to the nineteenth century from Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud. Individual subjectivism is highly influenced by society, cultural and ultimately with historical contexts. For instance, a person subjectivity conforms to the society he/she is raised in. Subjectivity involves the analysis of both performance and competencies from the perspective of the first person point of view. Critical psychology also delves into the issue of Psychologization and power; the critical issue focused upon is how culture and history have contributed to the creation of the autonomous and experienced self. Michael Faucault asserted that human beings make themselves subjects not by emancipation or liberating themselves; but through their participation in games of power; and as such, the most effective way to combat power is through resistance and not liberation. To this effect, critical psychologists intend to social structures that perpetuate injustice in society, ideologies and adjustment of the person. Critical psychologists have also adopted Psychologization; the power of this phenomenon emanates from the looping effect of psychological criteria. Psychologists have managed to apply psychological categories to individuals, and these individuals tend to interact with persons within their categories. It has also been revealed that individuals within these psychological categories change their self-understanding and actions based on their respective categories.
The next relation emanates from social epistemology and intersubjectivity. Holzkamp asserts that a researcher should initially acquaint him/herself with the subject matter before choosing a method. Critical psychology has adopted the strategy of choosing methods for problems that require resolution to rather than choosing subjects that since they can be studies within a formal methodology. Critical psychologists share the notion of intersubjectivity between participants and their clients; this opposes the need for an instruction following participant who can easily be manipulated. Critical psychologists treat participants as equals with respect to knowledge generation and dissemination and change. The collaboration between researcher and participant should be viewed as a democratic process where each person has equal say as to what unfolds during the experiment. Intersubjectivity emphasizes on the researcher taking the requisite time to question his/herself about the purpose of the research and the personal, social and political-economic reasons driving the research.
It is imperative that researcher assess the implications brought about by intersubjectivity; the researchers need to analyze the choices they make during the knowledge-making process and also in the process of knowledge application; this is because intersubjectivity requires reflexivity for it to work. The researcher need to analyze his/her own biases with respect to their own social orientation. Another factor that sets critical psychologists from the rest is their choice of methodologies used to achieve certain outcomes; they prefer to have either critical-theoretic or critical-practical studies with the potential to impact change in society. These types of psychologists prefer studies that challenge the status quo and also provide alternative routes through which to change the same.