Background. In the last few decades, the ethical issues in psychological research have gained considerable attention. In our study we discuss training of psychologists from the ethical point of view.
Objective. 1) To develop communication skills with the help of improvisation with the help of a designed training. 2) To uncover the role of ethical questions about the morality of risk–benefit assessment and justification for the conduct of research, selection of a suitable target population, informed consent, and evaluation of our results.
Design. Psychology students are required to develop communication skills that they will need in their future profession. The participants (70 psychology students) were asked to improvise following the three-stage procedure we designed. We describe all the stages of our training program and how the ethical norms contribute to our work. We discuss the ethical norms and rules in the first and third stages of our training session.
Results. We faced several ethical issues with risk–benefit assessment and justification of the conduct of the research. On the one hand, training causes anxiety, putting participants in uncomfortable situations; on the other, this corresponds precisely to the objectives of our work, posing an ethical dilemma. We looked for ways to create more comfortable conditions without jeopardizing the objectives of our study. We introduced concerns about the interpretation of an improviser’s work. The improvisers told stories that did not always correspond to reality, which confused the other participants. Discussing this point from an ethical position led us to a deeper understanding of improvisation and led to certain modification in our design of the training program.
Conclusion. We consider improvisation a creative process which helps one to adapt to new, uncomfortable situations. Here we show that based on ethical standards and rules, we could properly organize our training and comprehensively review the learning and improvisation process.
Keywords: improvisation, communication, educational training, ethical dilemmas, ethical standards