Critical Psychology: Methodology from the Standpoint of the Subject


  • Morus Markard Freie Universität Berlin



Critical Psychology, analysis of conditions, meanings, and grounds for action ("Bedingungs-Bedeutungs-Begründungs-Analyse"), course of development or developmental trajectory ("Entwicklungsfigur"), relationships between objective premises and subjective grounds for action, function of data, modality of data, relevance of psychology, action research, subject-scientific discourse of subjective grounds for action


Critical-psychological methodology, based upon the conceptually grounded connection between a critique of psychology and of society has to prove successful in realizing the unity of cognition and practical change and through the emancipatory relevance of its empirical findings. Considering the persistent and pervasive capitalist production of inequality, any attempts to overcome the abstract focus of traditional "quantitative" psychology on "de-contextualized" individuals by means of a "contextualism" that waters down complex societal structures to a conglomeration of (immediate) situations are bound to fail. By contrast, the methodical concepts of an "analysis of conditions, meanings, and grounds-for-action" ("Bedingungs-Bedeutungs-Begründungs-Analyse") and of the "course of development" or "developmental trajectory" ("Entwicklungsfigur") demonstrate how it is possible to grasp psychologically and put in general explanatory terms the connections between societal reproduction and individual life activities and developments. To accomplish this, theories are not understood as contingent relationships between conditions and behavioral effects (as the "control-scientific discourse of conditionedness" would have it), but rather as relationships between objective premises and subjective grounds for action (briefly labeled as "subject-scientific discourse of grounded action"). While treating other individuals as an integral part of the research team, a "psychology from the standpoint of the subject" is concerned with the world-as-experienced by the subjects. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0002196


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Author Biography

Morus Markard, Freie Universität Berlin

Morus MARKARD, geb. 1948, Dr. phil. habil., Dipl.-Psych., Privat-Dozent für Psychologie am Studiengang Psychologie der Freien Universität Berlin.



How to Cite

Markard, M. (2000). Critical Psychology: Methodology from the Standpoint of the Subject. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 1(2).