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Mort McPhail - Ethics and the Crisis in Psychology

  • NYU Wasserman Center 133 E 13th St #2 New York, NY 10003 United States (map)

Since 2004, APA has been dealing with an expanding crisis within the organization and in its public image concerning the use of “enhanced interrogation” techniques by the federal government and the role of psychologists in them. The growing ethical discord resulted in the development of a rift in the association, broken personal relationships, a costly investigation, bitter recriminations, lost jobs, ruined reputations, and a legacy of anger and distrust. Dr. McPhail will begin with a brief discussion of some underlying philosophical thought regarding ethics and an overview of the APA Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct. He will then present in outline the facts and issues of the crisis and discuss its ongoing impacts, including the pending review and revision of the Ethics Code, implications for I/O Psychologists, and recent events in the news and within APA, including SIOP’s response.

Dr. S. Morton McPhail practiced Industrial/Organizational Psychology for more than 35 years before retiring in 2013. He received his BA in Psychology from Trinity University in San Antonio and masters and doctoral degrees from Colorado State University. Dr. McPhail co-founded the consulting firm of Jeanneret & Associates and after several mergers became a Senior Vice President with Valtera and subsequently with CEB until his retirement. During his career, he consulted with clients on a wide variety of issues and served as an expert in litigation.

Dr. McPhail is a Fellow of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology and served as its Secretary-Financial Officer from 2009-2011 and is currently its President. He has published and presented on numerous topics, including editing a book on validation strategies. He is adjunct faculty for the University of Houston and Rice University and serves on the editorial boards of SIOP’s Professional Practice book series and the journal Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice.