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Value Neutrality

Introduction

The discipline of psychology has built its reputation on its success in modeling itself upon the natural sciences. This vision of psychology makes the assumption that its theories and methods are objective and value-neutral, that our enquiries about the world are free from prior assumptions, vested interests and subjective interpretations. From the perspective of critical psychology, however, the discipline may be seen as explicitly and, more often, implicitly driven by people or groups with vested interests. Objectivity and value-neutrality themselves may be unattainable, and even undesirable, in principle. Value-neutrality thus becomes re-framed as a potentially dangerous phantasm and psychologists must therefore consider its implications for research and practice.

Keywords

value-neutrality, value-freedom, objectivity, reflexivity, voice

Definition

The idea of value-neutrality, or value-freedom,implies the existence of a research stance or practice