Notes for a Critical Personality Psychology: Making Room under the Critical Psychology Umbrella



Inspired by the liberation psychologist Martin-Baró who provocatively defined personality as that of which individuals can be robbed in conditions of social injustice and research psychologists in training whose appreciation of the possibilities of personality psychology has been limited by the dominance of trait approaches, this paper claims that we need and can practice a critical personality psychology. Conceptual and methodological tools for such an enterprise are identified in two arenas of current research: the study of narratives and new forms of history in personality psychology. Within critical personality psychology, personality is understood to be an expression of (i) a multifaceted organization that includes individual, interpersonal, social, cultural, and political contexts; (ii) individual and social change; and (iii) the moral dimensions of human psychology. Notes on future directions draw on areas of inquiry within and outside personality psychology to insure a place under the critical psychology umbrella.