A Critique of the Psychology of Justice

  • Edward E. Sampson
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)


Sufficient progress has been made in our understanding of the bases for a critical perspective to warrant a chapter that goes beyond the preliminary comments on the psychology of justice developed in the first part of this work. My intention in this chapter is twofold: to examine the ways in which pure psychology has dominated our understanding of justice and to probe the ideological consequences of this endeavor. My conclusion is clear: the psychological study of justice has uncritically adopted the empiricist, individualist, and subjectivist bases that characterize pure psychology; the work thereby has inadvertently functioned to legitimate the present configuration of society and, in deleting some of the important socioeconomic factors involved in issues of justice, has deflected our attention from effectively understanding and transforming conditions of injustice.


Social Form Social Product Validity Claim Advanced Capitalism Social Principle 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward E. Sampson
    • 1
  1. 1.Wright InstituteBerkeleyUSA

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