The Impact of Mandatory Notifications on Psychological Practice Essay

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Mandatory notifications in experimental psychology

Since 2010, the National Law of Australia requires practitioners, employers and education providers to report "notifiable conduct" of another colleague, as defined in s. 140 of the National Law of Australia, to the National Agency of Australia in order to prevent the public being placed at risk of harm (Psychology Board of Autralia, 2012). These notifications are a necessary part of the system as they ensure that the public is kept safe from negative actions of practitioners.
Research has shown that the mind and brain are the most important and valuable assets that we have as the human race. For this reason, psychological fields such as experimental psychology should be kept under strict supervision. Experimental psychology utilizes approved scientific methods in research of behavior and the mind. Experimental psychologists conduct research on cognitive processes, personality, neuroscience and animal behavior among others (Osgood, 1953). It applies experimental methods to help understand questions that were previously observed in informal ways. These include questions such as what is memory, what causes people to have different personalities, how does human mind work etc.
This essay will discuss the mandatory notifications which the practitioners must comply with while conducting experiments on human and non human subjects and why it is beneficial to this particular psychological practice.
Human principle Experimental psychologists use animal subjects and human participants in their study and hence the participants need to be protected. The topics involved in experimental psychology may include: memory, sensation & perception, learning, neural substrates, emotion; motivation, social psychology developmental processes, and cognition (Loue, 2000). Unethical conduct among the practitioners if not taken care of properly may potentially endanger lives through exploitation.
Mandatory notifications are the government’s way of involving the country to attempt containing such exploitation of persons by practitioners. This mandatory obligation is especially set for practitioners who are knowledgeable to report any notifiable conduct that may bring harm to the public as defined by the National Law of Australia (P.B.A., 2012). With these mandatory notifications in place, practitioners are forced to ensure that all their procedures are effective and in line with international principles (Weiner & Craighead, 2010). They are forced to take their jobs seriously as they are dealing with something very important, the human brain. For example, if a practitioner takes a drug such as marijuana, he may lose track of time. If this happens during an experiment which is supposed to be manually controlled by the practitioner, then it may lead to serious implications. Such a situation includes a session when the test subject is hypnotized. The subject may be listening to a sound clip which is supposed to only run for a specified period of time. Very long exposure to the clip may cause the person to undergo neural changes which were not anticipated.
Psychology experiments require accuracy since the results may be applied again by other practitioners who may want to confirm the results (Slovic & Fischhoff, 1977). This need for accurate data may be witnessed in the case of the Australian Society for Experimental Psychology (ASEP). Prof Mike Nicholls of ASEP in an interview mentioned, “You cannot compromise on the accuracy of the data” (Weiner & Craighead, 2010). Having said this, it is absolutely necessary that the practitioner pays attention to every detail of the experiment. For any experiment’s research to be formally accepted, it must be proven by other researchers. Taking an example of binaural beats, one must know the exact frequency used in the experiment. If the practitioner records wrong and unspecific data, there is the possibility that the same results…