Korkut Yeşim

Korkut Yeşim

Prof. Dr. Korkut, is a clinical psychologist, a psychoanalyst (IPA, Psike İstanbul) and a certified EuroPsy Specialist in psychotherapy.


Teaching and learning psychology ethics as a meaningful and enjoyable experience

The vast majority of psychologists agree that it is crucial for psychology students and graduates to study ethics. We want to train young scientists to recognise ethical issues when they arise, to provide them with “tools” to evaluate them ( Wolpe, 2002). We all accept that professional attitude is based on clinical excellence and working on oneself (Duff, 2004).

However, teaching and learning ethics is not always an easy task. Course syllabi often include complicated philosophical texts, specific concepts, and numerous ethics or procedural codes. It is known that teaching only a theoretical emphasis will not lead to awareness and understanding of ethical issues, so students are expected to learn “ethical decision-making steps” to be employed while facing ethical dilemmas.

However, conceptualising all as a cognitive process is not enough. There is a great deal of research on the advantages of inclusion of emotional aspects in this decision-making process ( Macneill, 2010; Brown 2010; Decety & Cacioppo, 2012) strengthening the contribution of the cognitive process and, as a result, supporting the final moral judgement. Cognitive and affective aspects of teaching and learning should be in balance.

Once a student has enrolled, beside the provision of the theoretical aspects, there is also a hidden curriculum that we provide to students while interacting with them (Goold & Stern, 2006; Hafferty & Franks , 1994). It is exactly this area that we need to cultivate during the undergraduate and graduate years.

Expecting students to learn and internalise knowledge in a meaningful way would necessitate other means than usual. In this presentation, different techniques (Balogh , 2002; Fisch, 1997) that help to combine knowledge with emotionality (Chambliss, 2003) while teaching psychology ethics will be introduced. Altogether, teaching and learning ethics in an interactive way, paying attention to both good decision-making skills and emotional cues would be exactly what students will be enjoying and learning mostly from. If the question is how to sensitise students to ethical issues in life, and in the profession, the importance of giving them an active role, responsibility on the dissemination of ethics, will be suggested.

Short Bio

She is the representative member of Turkey, at EFPA Board of Ethics. Korkut, acted as Chair of Ethics Committee of Turkish Psychological Association (TPA) for long years. She led the team who worked in preparation of the national TPA Code of Ethics and wrote articles about this code preparation phase. Currently Yeşim Korkut is the chair of the PSİKE İstanbul Psychoanalytical Association Ethics Commitee. She is one of the editors of the book: “The Oxford Handbook of International Psychological Ethics”. Korkut has several articles on ethics, and is the author of a handbook on ethics in turkish. She is especially interested in the skills of teaching ethics, and the affective components in ethical decisions.