The Psychologist and the Beast

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The Psychologist and the Beast

The Psychologist and the Beast

RUNNING HEAD: The Psychologist and the Beast

Module 3 – The Psychologist and the Beast

Herman Beastly is on trial and if convicted will likely be executed for the crime of raping and murdering a young babysitter. State law allows the execution of vicious convicts if it is determined the criminal is possible to repeat the offense. Indication in this case strongly proposes Beastlys’ guilt, and the defense team unequivocally call on the knowledge of Dr. John Qualm, M.D., whom is considered an authority on the likelihood of seriousness; in an effort to influence the jury’s decision that determining a criminal will repeat a crime is indecisive (Koocher, & Spiegel, 2016). Though, Dr. Qualm has no duty to offer the defense with such evidence; he may have a moral responsibility to do so. My tactic to studying this case study is to emphasis on the particular struggle of keeping a man from getting the death penalty, in which Dr. Qualm and the District Attorney think he deserves. The Psychologist and the Beast


When studying the case study, it familiarizes us with the offender, Herman Beastly, and points out the evidence strongly proposes that he is guilty of the atrocious crime of raping and killing an teenage babysitter. The state that the trial is taking place have laws that have been recognized influential where the death penalty will be endorsed if it is established the ferocious offender is probable to repeat the vicious offence. Since the defense attorney and his team, is indebted to represent their client with the best thinkable defense, they have called upon Dr. Qualm to appear on the defendant’s behalf (Koocher, & Spiegel, 2016).

Dr. Qualm is expertise in the field of predicting the dangerousness, and with his demonstration the defense is hopeful that Beastly will not get the death penalty. After examining the case; it seems, the defense is aware that Beastly will be sentenced of the crime. They are committed is to get the death penalty off the table for their client, Mr. Beastly. The defense has chosen Dr. Qualm expertise, as he has written and published reports in which highlight the difficulty in predicting which offenders will repeat violent crimes. The defense would like to use these reports, and Dr. Qualm in an effort to change the judges’ guilty verdict to one without the death penalty attached (Koocher, & Spiegel, 2016). The study never exposed if Dr. Qualm is for or is against the death penalty. As a psychologist and researcher and even an expert in his field; Dr. Qualm has no ethical obligation to appear for the defense (Koocher, & Spiegel, 2016). The Psychologist and the Beast

The fundamental ethical conflict that is current in this case study is the personal conflict in which Dr. Qualm is facing. Best-case scenario; Dr. Qualm appears for the defense, and Mr. Beastly, and effectively establishes the difficulty in predicting which offenders will repeat violent crimes. At which time, Mr. Beastly may spend the rest of his life behind bars. On the other hand, the worst-case scenario is that he is set free and the victim and the family of the victim will be deprived of the justice they deserve. The Psychologist and the Beast

The ethical conflict that Dr. Qualm is facing with the case is a fight that many can tell. What is right, does not always feel right, and vice versa. According to the text, “when making ethical decisions, a thorny dilemma arises when one moral principal conflicts with another. Which one takes precedence?” (Koocher, & Spiegel, 2016). Dr. Qualms’ personal value system may leave him so nauseated at what Mr. Beastly is accused of, that the idea the contribution for Mr. Beastly’s defense in any way, may be too hard for Dr. Qualm to accept. There are five Principles in the American Psychological Association (APA), and each was created in an effort to be a guide for psychology professionals to respect to safeguard conclusions and counsel given have the clients’ best interest in mind. The five Principals are as follows: The Psychologist and the Beast


Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence – Psychology professionals make every effort to only be of assistance to those they work with, and to do no harm. Psychologists take additional protection to protect associates and others their work may effect, and resolve skirmishes that happen in ways that minimalize harm to those involved (APA, 2002).

Principle B: Fidelity and Responsibility – Psychology professionals start and keep trusting relationships with colleagues, stay alert of their professional tasks to their people and humanity as a whole, and minimalize struggles of concern by sustaining professional standards consulting other professionals when needed (APA, 2002).

Principle C: Integrity – Psychology professionals only account and encourage correct findings and help those coworkers in which do the same in their instructions and practice. Psychology professionals make efforts to keep agreements and when methods are used in which causes distrust, a psychology professional must work to repair that trust, and do no harm (APA, 2002).

Principle D: Justice – Psychology professionals comprehend that all individuals, no matter what; are allowed to equality and fairness and should profit from all psychology has to offer. Psychology professionals use and implementation reasonable judgment and are careful not to permit their possible prejudices to hinder with their work, and to only work within the limitations of their ability. (APA, 2002).

Principle E: Respect for People’s Rights and Dignity – Psychology professionals respect the self-worth and value of all people, despite culture, occupation, sexual orientation, race, gender, gender identity, socioeconomic status, nor any other factor, nor do they intentionally participate in activities that do (APA, 2002).

In the case vignette I am examining, it is plausible Dr. Qualm is confronting ethical conflicts with the subsequent principals; Principle A – psychology professionals have a duty to do no harm and to not let their prejudices obstruct their profession. If Dr. Qualm does not testify, Mr. Beastly could be condemned to death, and if he does testify; he may not be condemned to death. Dr. Qualm is also fronting an ethical conflict with Principle B – the associations that Dr. Qualm presently has, could be affected by him not testifying, since he is the expert in the field. Another ethical conflict in respect to Dr. Qualm is, Principal D; will impartiality really be served if he does not testify on behalf of the defendant? It is a psychology professional’s responsibility to make sure that the consequences of his decisions have is just to all those involved; counting ones that he does not agree with. The last Principal that Dr. Qualm has an ethical conflict with is Principal E, by not testifying, Dr. Qualm is not respecting the rights and dignity of an individual that deserves it just like any other individual. The Psychologist and the Beast

In addition to the Code of Ethics Principals, there is also ten (10) Standards in which the APA believes psychological professionals should practice by, they are as follows: Standard 1: Resolving Ethical Issues – professionals should maintain a professional decorum when there is an ethical issue with another colleague, including discrimination and retaliation towards colleagues that file a complaint. Standard 2: Competence – psychological professionals unless emergency, should refer clients to other professionals in which is more capable and competent. Only in cases of emergency, should a psychology professional treat a client outside of their necessary training. Standard 3: Human Relations – professionals should follow when it comes to multiple relationships, discrimination, harassment including sexual harassment, and other rights that should be bestowed to clients. Standard 4: Privacy and Confidentiality – psychological professionals are to secure private and confidential information and keep information out of the hands of anyone that could do the client harm, keeping the clients’ best interest in mind. Standard 5: Advertising and Other Public Statements – Psychology professionals are responsible for any advertising statements done on their behalf, be them true or false. Descriptions of seminars and workshops need to be accurate. Standard 6: Record Keeping and Fees – psychology professionals are to maintain their client files, must not misrepresent their fees, if they agree to bartering with a client, standard 6 stipulates in which ways bartering is appropriate. Standard 7: Education and Training – courses and teachings should be accurate and students and or supervisees are not required to give personal information in coursework. Standard 8: Research and Publication – provide true and accurate information to their institution if required to seek permission to conduct research, signed consent, as well as an understanding when it comes to deception in research. Standard 9: Assessments – appropriate use of assessments, when and how to release scores from assessments, as well as making sure obsolete assessments are not used. Standard 10: Therapy – a standard that explains to professionals when it is not appropriate to engage in a therapeutic relationship with clients, explaining professionals not having sexual relations with clients and making sure to get signed consent when necessary (APA, 2002). The Psychologist and the Beast

Standard 3 deals with Human Relations. If Dr. Qualm does not testify for the defense, Dr. Qualm is discriminating against him because of his socioeconomic status and the reasoning behind his trial. Although the case does not describe the race of either Dr. Qualm, or Herman Beastly, Mr. Beastly is accused of raping and murdering a young female, and his social orientation is he is in prison awaiting the outcome of the trial. The Psychologist and the Beast

There are further concerns that could prejudice the verdict and obscure the ethical skirmish of a key conflict in private importance system for Dr. Qualm. Mr. Beastly is in custody and is to stand trial for the murder and rape of an adolescent. The case does not stipulate his social orientation or his ethnicity, but both could be studied when Dr. Qualm is considering his choices on testifying or not. Mr. Beastly is already housed at a penitentiary, and his socioeconomic significance could be deliberated as well. Indication points to his guilt, and after knowing all of that, Dr. Qualm has to make an evaluation about his welfare (Koocher, & Spiegal, 2016). The Psychologist and the Beast

Cultural and Social orientation

Man raping any female is severe but Mr. Beastly raping an adolescent babysitter is even more culturally severe because she was a teenager. Teenagers are culturally supposed to be pure and innocent with a bright future.

Dual or Multiple Relationship

Dr. Qualm has a duty to the defendant but also a moral obligation to society to report his findings and use his expertise as to report whether in his estimation Mr. Beastly is likely to re offend.

Ethical Decision Making Model (Eight Step Model)

Koocher, & Spiegal (2016), propose an eight step ethical process on making assessments. The following, specific steps as summarized and will give more understanding on the ethical encounter of how the case conflicts with Dr. Qualm’s private significance system: 1. Decide whether the material contains ethics. Step outside of the situation and really examine the situation to decide if it has ethical issues. Some situations can be troubled by one’s capability to decide ethics or professional morals (Koocher, & Spiegal, 2016). Dr. Qualm was asked to attest on behalf of the defense, in which indication points to the guiltiness of the offender, Mr. Beastly. If Dr. Qualm were to attest, Mr. Beastly, rather than get the death penalty, would likely spend the rest of his life in penitentiary.

2. Refer to the guidelines already accessible that might pertain as a likely tool for determination. Examination of the APA or other professional psychology organizations, and use the best practices as well as pertinent material on how to best deal with ethical situations (Koocher, & Spiegal, 2016). Dr. Qualm might feasibly need to look into his professional organization, and study other cases that are comparable to see what their results were.

3. Stop to contemplate, as best as possible, all issues that might affect the conclusion one will make. Again, step outside the situation and really examine the issues that could effect his conclusion. Is he too close to the situation? Is he prejudiced in some way? Examine any conceivable particular motives for which he is contemplating the conclusion (Koocher, & Spiegal, 2016). If Dr. Qualm testifies, Mr. Beastly could be spared the death sentence, but if he does not testify; Mr. Beastly could spend the rest of his life in penitentiary. Dr. Qualm needs to reflect on what not only his professional duty, but also his moral obligation.

4. Discuss a reliable associate. Dialogue to a trustworthy teammate, one notorious to have an impartial perspective, a collaborator that will guide another collaborator while guiding the mine fields that can come along and will help in determining the best course of action (Koocher, & Spiegal, 2016). The case study does not stipulate if Dr. Qualm works in a setting in which he has informal contact to collaborators, one such as a capacity with numerous professionals in which Dr. Qualm can trust in such insistences. If not, he should reach out to collaborators that he hopes will give him an impartial perspective and help him decide the best course of action.

5. Appraise the entitlements, concerns, and susceptibility of all affected parties. This incorporates the organization one is hired by, or general public that could be affected by any conclusion made. The entitlements, concerns, and privacy always need to be assessed for any likely ethical concerns one’s decision may violate (Koocher, & Spiegal, 2016). Dr. Qualm has an accountability to not only the offender; Mr. Beastly, but also to those family members of the adolescent babysitter in which he murdered, and the community they are a part of. Dr. Qualm needs to study and assess the entitlements, concerns, and susceptibilities of all affected persons, as well as the general public and the status of the institute of where he works.

6. Make alternative decisions. Come up with concepts different than the initial idea. Write them down, even if they are precarious, too luxurious, or if it is the conclusion to do zilch. Take a look at all of them, and then choose. This procedure will assist in weighing the pros and cons of the conclusion and perhaps present alternative conclusion even better than the original (Koocher, & Spiegal, 2016). After the finish of step five, Dr. Qualm ought sit down and think about achievable other assessments, with this case there are really only two; 1. Testify on behalf of the defense and Mr. Beastly could be spared the death sentence, 2. Dr. Qualm does not testify, and Mr. Beastly receives the death sentence.

7. Enumerate the consequences of making each decision. Express, picture, or list the concerns of the conclusion made in addition to the time and resources it takes to implement the conclusion if appropriate (Koocher, & Spiegal, 2016). Dr. Qualm needs to prudently consider the costs of each propositioned conclusion he makes, and choose the best sequence of action that fits well with his personal value system.

8. Make the decision. After finishing the previous 7 segments thoroughly, make the conclusion and take the action, even if the conclusion made does not safeguard all of the affected; but is still the best conclusion, make the conclusion (Koocher, & Spiegal, 2016). In the end, Dr. Qualm needs to make a conclusion of whether to testify or not.

An Alternative Decision Making Model

After accomplishment of the above-mentioned steps to ethical decision-making, the approach I would pick to determine the case studies ethical conflict of personal value system would be to consider the results of my choice again relative to my particular philosophies and those of the family of the victim, society and those of the offender.

Krehbiel, (2012), authored a decision-making model for everyday life that is comparable to the ethical decision making model proposed by Koocher, & Spiegal, (2016). This decision making model has eight steps as well: 1. State the problem or situation. 2. Consider your goals and values. 3. Determine the options. 4. Consider the consequences or list the pros and the cons of each option. 5. Select the best option. 6. Act upon the decision. 7. Accept responsibility. 8 Evaluate the results (Krehbiel, 2012). As stated previously, this is a comparable decision making model that might perhaps get the same conclusion as the ethical decision making model. By using this model, Dr. Qualm might miscarry to get respected comment from a reliable associate that could possibly change his mind on the conclusion he makes.

Ethical responsibility is to do what is right, just, and above all, fair. Dr. Qualm has been called to off defense for Mr. Beastly as an expert in his field; he should provide an unbiased account of his findings in Mr. Beastly case. Regardless, of the findings, helping or hindering the defense. Dr. Qualm has an obligation to offer his expertise when called upon.


American Psychological Association. (2002). American Psychological Association ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. Retrieved from

Koocher, G., & Spiegel, P. (2016). Ethics in psychology and the mental health professions: Standards and cases (4th ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

M. K. (2012). Steps of the Decision Making Process. Retrieved from

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