Ethical Principles of Psychologists

I chose the Jane Elliott experiment “The Blue Eyes and Brown Eyes Experiment” for this task. I believe that the main problems are some incitements to humiliation by “privileged” children of a group of outsiders and the lack of consent to the passage of this experiment. That directly contradicts Principle A: Beneficence and Nonmaleficence, specified in the Code of Conduct (“Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct,” n.d.). Jane Elliott can also be accused of instilling in children’s feelings of guilt because of their origin (Tomasello, 2020). Moreover, this study had no scientific basis; there were no additional measurements and identification of the reasons why the children’s academic and social performance began to change.

Talking about the topic of this study, that is important to note what a decisive role this experiment had on the lives and minds of Jane Elliott’s students. It is crucial to distinguish between the impact of stories about racism and the impact of personal experience. Continuing this theme, the children who participated in the experiment later admitted that it made a complete revolution in their minds. It is a normal psychological phenomenon that the stress caused by this experiment and participation in it had consequences. However, it is vital to note that this experiment was conducted on children despite their disagreement and the disagreement of their parents. Thus, to manage such experiments, Jane Elliott must have the permission of the parents or guardians of the children (“Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct,” n.d.). It is also essential to have a scientific base that will indicate methods that do not cause inconvenience or harm to the physical or emotional state of the respondents (Sinclair, 2017). In this way, the rules will be followed to comply with all the principles of the APA Code of Conduct and ethical standards.

At the same time, based on this experiment’s results, it can be confidently said what a global role it plays in the psychological construction of response schemes to specific situations and stimuli. Children who feel themselves in the place of oppressed people, depending on the available physical attribute, are much more favourable to people who differ from physical characteristics that do not depend on their choice. Moreover, it is necessary to note that the consequences of chauvinism can be reflected not only on the psychological level but also on the physical (Moore et al. al., 2017). That is why such an experiment is like a vaccination, which in the future does not allow adults to treat people with any prejudice (Salter et al., 2017). Thus, children, having felt the pain, fear and other negative emotions experienced by an oppressed person, become more tolerant and in the future do not take the side of those who show signs of chauvinism.

To sum up, it is essential to note that racism in society is still a big socio-cultural problem for the modern world. Books, newspapers, and television everywhere demonstrate and talk about ethical behaviour to each other. Despite this, many people do not understand the meaning of the spread of such experiments. That is due to the fact that they have no experience of being oppressed by those who consider themselves better for the absence or presence of specific external physical signs. The main problem demonstrated in this experiment is the lack of consent from the respondents or their guardians to participate in the experiment. It is also vital to include incitement to humiliation and causing feelings of guilt due to certain signs as ethical problems. Thus, if these problems are eliminated, this experiment can be conducted everywhere to demonstrate the harmful influence of racism and chauvinism.


Ethical principles of psychologists and code of conduct. (n.d.). Web.

Moore, S. E., Norman, R. E., Suetani, S., Thomas, H. J., Sly, P. D., & Scott, J. G. (2017). Consequences of bullying victimization in childhood and adolescence: A systematic review and meta-analysis. World Journal of Psychiatry, 7(1), 60. Web.

Salter, P. S., Adams, G., & Perez, M. J. (2017). Racism in the Structure of Everyday Worlds: A Cultural-Psychological Perspective. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(3), 150–155. Web.

Sinclair, C. (2017). Ethics in psychology: Recalling the past, acknowledging the present, and looking to the future. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie Canadienne, 58(1), 20–29. Web.

Tomasello, M. (2019). The Moral Psychology of Obligation. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1–33. Web.

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PsychologyWriting. 2023. "Ethical Principles of Psychologists." September 11, 2023.

1. PsychologyWriting. "Ethical Principles of Psychologists." September 11, 2023.


PsychologyWriting. "Ethical Principles of Psychologists." September 11, 2023.