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Welcome to the nexus of ethics, psychology, morality, technology, health care, and philosophy

Thursday, November 25, 2021

APF Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in the Practice of Psychology: Samuel Knapp

American Psychologist, 76(5), 812–814. 

This award recognizes a distinguished career and enduring contribution to the practice of psychology. Samuel Knapp’s long, distinguished career has resulted in demonstrable effects and significant contributions to best practices in professionalism, ethics education, positive ethics, and legislative advocacy as Director of Professional Affairs for the Pennsylvania Psychological Association and as an ethics educator extraordinaire. Dr. Knapp’s work has modified the way psychologists think about professional ethics through education, from avoiding disciplinary consequences to promoting overarching ethical principles to achieve the highest standards of ethical behavior. His focus on respectful collaboration among psychologists promotes honesty through nonjudgmental conversations. His Ethics Educators Workshop and other continuing education programs have brought together psychology practitioners and faculty to focus deeply on ethics and resulted in the development of the APA Ethics Educators Award.

From the Biography section

Ethics education became especially important in Pennsylvania when the Pennsylvania State Board of Psychology mandated ethics as part of its continuing education requirement. But even before that, members of the PPA Ethics Committee and Board of Directors, saw ethics education as a vehicle to help psychologists to improve the quality of their services to their patients. Also, to the extent that ethics education can help promote good decision-making, it could also reduce the emotional burden that professional psychologists often feel when faced with difficult ethical situations. Often the continuing education programs were interactive with the secondary goals of helping psychologists to build contacts with each other and an opportunity for the presenters to promote authentic and compassion-driven approaches to teaching ethics. Yes, Sam and the other PPA Ethics educators, such as the PPA attorney Rachael Baturin, also taught the laws, ethics codes, and the risk management strategies. facts.  But these were only one component of PPA’s ethics education program. More important was the development of a cadre of psychologists/ethicists who taught most of these continuing education programs.