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Critical psychology

Critical psychology is a sub-discipline of psychology that since the 1990s has consolidated itself in scientific journals, conferences and networks in many parts of the world.

Critical psychology’s task is two-fold:

  • It involves using psychology more actively to combat social injustice, to prevent discrimination against minorities and to empower people.

  • It involves a critique of conventional psychology for not reflecting on the shadow cast by psychology’s supposedly "pure" objective findings and scientific categories.

Social engagement

Critical psychologists admit therefore that psychology can have both liberating potential and oppressive effects. Critical psychologists can, in principle, work within any branch of psychology, such as developmental psychology or social psychology. Unlike many other psychologists, we have social critical engagement as an integral part of our psychological practice, and that engagement may either be directed out, towards implementation at the level of everyday lives, or turned in, toward psychology’s production of its own subject.

Critical psychology has so far been relatively little known in Norway, but at the University of Oslo there are now several academic staff members developing research and teaching programs concerned with critical psychology.

Published May 15, 2013 4:11 PM - Last modified Feb. 24, 2016 11:15 AM