The benefits of adopting a positive perspective in ethics education

Samuel Knapp, Michael C. Gottlieb, Mitchell M. Handelsman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Positive ethics is a perspective that encourages psychologists to see professional ethics as an effort to adhere to overarching ethical principles that are integrated with personal values, as opposed to efforts that focus primarily on avoiding punishment for violating the ethics codes, rules, and regulations. This article reviews the foundations of positive ethics, argues for the benefits of adopting a positive approach in ethics education, and considers recent findings from psychological science that support the value of a positive perspective by improving moral sensitivity, setting high standards for conduct, and increasing motivation to act ethically.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)196-202
Number of pages7
JournalTraining and Education in Professional Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • Aspirational ethics
  • Ethics
  • Positive ethics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Psychology(all)


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