„It appears that a high percentage of the reported research endeavours were carried out cleanly, methodically flawless and effectively and reflect undeterred diligence and experimental conscientiousness; furthermore they are each characterized by a remarkable irrelevance.“ (Smith & Shoben, 1965, back-translated from German)

This was the conclusion reached by the former publishers of the „Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology“ after having reviewed a couple of thousand submitted papers. Over 50 years have passed. Has anything changed about the topicality of their assertion? Is psychological research as relevant as it is said to be? Does psychology deal with issues which matter to people in their efforts to cope with their lives?

Critical psychology (Kritische Psychologie) criticises mainstream psychology among other things for its lack of a concept and theory of society and its lack of idea of how people conduct their lives within society. In mainstream psychology research often focuses on questions and areas where research methods can be applied easily. As a result critical issues in people’s everyday lives are omitted. Hence mainstream psychology misses to capture its very subject: psyche.

The title of this year‘s critical psychology summer school „Ask them why“ wants to invite you to question certain basic assumptions of mainstream psychology. It tries to highlight how psychological research shouldn‘t treat people as passive experimental objects and instead focus on the subjective reasons that individual actions are grounded in. Thereby it wants to further an understanding of people as endowed with agency, as co-creators of their lifeworld.

The critical psychology summer school is a five-day congress and is aimed at students, researchers and practitioners of psychology and other disciplines. It takes place from 11th to 15th of September at Alice Salomon Hochschule in Berlin. Participation is free of charge. The aim of this year’s summer school is to introduce to basic concepts of critical psychology, advance our understanding of critical psychology, provide a space to meet, network and discuss.

If you want to come, please sign up to make preparations easier.

Ferienuni Kritische Psychologie 2018 using Theme Adventure by Eric Schwarz adapted by Stefan Meretz
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