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Guidelines for Ethical Conduct in the Care and Use of Nonhuman Animals

The American Psychological Association (APA) Ethical Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct (for short, the Ethics Code, as referred to by the APA) includes an introduction, preamble, a list of five aspirational principles and a list of ten enforceable standards that psychologists use to guide ethical decisions in practice, research, and education. The principles and standards are written, revised, and enforced by the APA. The code of conduct is applicable to psychologists in a variety of areas across a variety of contexts. In the event of a violation of the code of conduct, the APA may take action ranging from termination of the APA membership to the loss of licensure, depending on the violation. Other professional organizations and licensing boards may adopt and enforce the code.

The first version was published by the APA in 1953.[1] The need for such a document came after psychologists were taking on more professional and public roles post-World War II.[1]A committee was developed and reviewed situations submitted by psychologists in the field who felt they had encountered ethical dilemmas.[1] The committee organized these situations into themes and included them in the first document which was 170 pages in length.[1] Over the years, a distinction was made between aspirational principles and enforceable standards. Since, there have been nine revisions with the most recent published in 2002 and amended in 2010.[2]