The good, the bad and the ugly: searching for critical research in psychology

Paul Duckett, David Fryer, Rebecca Lawthom, Brona Nic Giolla Easpaig, Harriet Radermacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The purpose of this paper is to answer the question “what is good research?” from the perspective of critical researchers working in the discipline of psychology. The authors first look at what it means to be “good”, then what it means to be critical and then interlink these two as a means of providing a context to understand why there appears to be so little critical research around. Findings– The authors have put together a narrative that they hope is readable but that still pulls on the different ways each of them have approached the topic of defining good research and thinking about critical research. The authors have personally witnessed the disappearanceing of critical activists, antipsychiatry activists, disability rights activists, trades unionists, critical scholars; and put forward a reason (among others) as to why there is so little good critical research, which is that the status quo is implacably ferocious in its efforts to close it down wherever it occurs. Indeed, if the status quo is not doing its damnedest to close down the research you are doing, you can be reasonably sure it is not good critical research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-153
Number of pages9
JournalQualitative Research Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jul 2013
Externally publishedYes


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