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Ethical decision-making training goes virtual

Keywords: ethical decision-making, training, psychology, virtual reality, application, internship psychologists

Published onNov 03, 2021
Ethical decision-making training goes virtual


We present the VREthics application that enables immersive training in ethical decision making of internship psychologist. The development of this app is supported on theoretical information regarding best practices for ethics decisions in Psychology and technological issues concerning the system design. Eleven internship psychologists tested the VREthics and were questioned about their subjective assessment of the app, the VR training experience and its impact on the learning process. They reported a positive appreciation of both the VR training experience (43.52%) and of the impact on their training (31.98%). The most referenced characteristic is related to the realism and interactivity of the case, allowing them a sense of presence. Results are accordingly to the scarce literature and suggest that the VR training can be an important resource for practical learning, providing an educational context close to the real, interactive and engaging context. Therefore, the use of technological tools, more specifically VR, should be integrated in the psychologists skills ́ training of the utmost relevance to practice, namely in ethical decision-making. The next steps will be to implement VREthics in the initial training plan for internship psychologists at the Portuguese Psychologists Association, being a differentiating tool in their training that allows a more practical and interactive level of access to fundamental theoretical concepts.

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