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Professional Psychology: Debating Chamber · Psychology Journals · Psychologists

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The public sector is that part of economic and administrative life that deals with the delivery of goods and services by and for the government, whether national, regional or local/[municipal.

Examples of public sector activity range from delivering education and social security, administering health care and organising national defences.

The decision about what are proper matters for the public sector as opposed to the private sector is probably the single most important dividing line among socialist, liberal, conservative, and libertarian political philosophy, with (broadly) socialists preferring greater state involvement, libertarians favoring minimal state involvement, and conservatives and liberals favouring state involvement in some aspects of the society but not others.

Employment of psychologists[]

Implications of working in the public sector[]

  • Direct administration funded through taxation; the delivering organisation generally has no specific requirement to meet commercial success criteria, and production decisions are determined by government.

The obligations on psychologists[]

Being paid from public funds places a number of additional moral responsibilities upon psychologists which perhaps are less pertinent for those employed in private practice. It could be argued that their obligations to the wider community and public good are broadened by the funding arrangements.

See also[]

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