At the core of all therapeutic and medical practice lies ethics. By applying an expanded Ajzen’s Theory of Planned Behavior formulation, the present investigation tested a model for explaining psychologists’ intention to behave ethically. In the pretest, dual relationships and money conflicts were seen as the most prevalent dilemmas. A total of 395 clinical psychologists filled out questionnaires containing either a dual relationship dilemma describing a scenario where a psychologist was asked to treat a son of a colleague or a money-focused dilemma where he or she was asked to treat a patient unable to pay for the service. Results obtained from applying the expanded Ajzen’s model to each dilemma, generally, supported the study hypotheses. In particular, attitudes were seen as the most important predictor in both dilemmas followed by a morality component, defined here as the commitment of the psychologist to the patient included here as an additional predictor in the model. The expanded model provided a better understanding of ethical intention. Practical implications were also discussed.
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- Commitment to patient
- Predicting ethical intention
- Theory of planned behavior