Chapter 3. Ethical Gradualism

  1. Ronald D. Francis

Published Online: 6 NOV 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9781444306514.ch3

Ethics for Psychologists, Second Edition

Ethics for Psychologists, Second Edition

How to Cite

Francis, R. D. (2009) Ethical Gradualism, in Ethics for Psychologists, Second Edition, BPS Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444306514.ch3

Author Information

  1. Monash University, Australia

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 NOV 2009
  2. Published Print: 7 AUG 2009

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405188784

Online ISBN: 9781444306514



  • ethical gradualism;
  • explicit principle of gradualism in ethics and justification and illustrations;
  • approximation in training;
  • critical period of learning;
  • training function and gradual approach effectiveness formalised into propositions;
  • justification for being gradualist;
  • ethical judgment;
  • professional illustrations;
  • graded approach and ‘only profit matters’ principle;
  • using professional expertise of someone


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Introduction

  • Approximation in Training

  • Early Learning and Reinforcement

  • Propositions

  • Justification for being Gradualist

  • Studies that have Implied a Gradualist Approach

  • Issues and Problems with Gradualism

  • Dealing with Less Common Problems

  • Professional Illustrations

  • Acknowledgement