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Fidelity and responsibility

These rules should do much more than help the unethical psychologist keep out of trouble; they should be of palpable aid to the ethical psychologist in making daily decisions.” —Nicholas Hobbs (1948, p. 81)[1]

The first committee on Ethical Standards for Psychologists was developed in 1947 and chaired by Edward Tolman.[7] The committee was created because psychologists were becoming more involved in professional activities and public works during and following World War II. To gain insight on what to include, the committee sought information from psychologists in the field.[7][8] Psychologists discussed situations in which they felt they encountered ethical dilemmas.

A second committee was formed and headed by Nicholas Hobbs. This 8-member committee was responsible for the creation of the first document. The committee used contributions from over 2,000 psychologists to create the first principles.[8] The committee reviewed the situations submitted by psychologists to the first committee and attempted to organize the situations into themes.[7] Themes that emerged reflected many of the political and social issues of the time including racial segregation, post-war politics, and the testing industry.[1]The first version of the Ethical Standards of Psychologists was adopted in 1952 and published in 1953 by the American Psychological Association (APA).[7] The document was over 170 pages in length.[8] The first version contained many ethical dilemmas that psychologists had written about and submitted to the first committee as case examples