Our Wellington and Manawatū campuses are open, Auckland remains closed at AL4. More information.

What we do

The Critical Health and Social Psychology Research Cluster (CHaSP) is made up of 23 health and social psychologists with diverse backgrounds and interests. Our cohort ranges from professors to recently graduated and current doctoral students. The research projects that CHaSP members undertake often consider issues of gender, ethnicity, power, subjectivities, media, and disadvantage and disparity, explored through a range of theoretical and methodological approaches. An interactive map of our current and recent research projects can be viewed here.

Despite our diversity, there are a number of common threads that define our work as critical health and social psychologists – namely a keen commitment to criticality and the critical psychology agenda, and to social justice, a clear focus on health and wellbeing, and a strong intention to contribute to real world change.

We affiliate with the International Society of Critical Health Psychology (ISCHP) and draw on their identifying commentary to illuminate our work.

“Members of the International Society of Critical Health Psychology espouse a variety of theoretical and methodological viewpoints. However, as with other critical psychologists, they share a common dissatisfaction with the positivist assumptions of much of mainstream psychology and its ignorance of broader social and political issues. Instead, they share an interest in various critical ideas (e.g. social constructionism, post-modernism, feminism, marxism, etc.) and various qualitative and participatory methods of research (e.g. discourse analysis, grounded theory, action research, ethnography, etc.) and their relevance to understanding health and illness. Further, they share an awareness of the social, political and cultural dimensions of health and illness (e.g. poverty, racism, sexism, political oppression, etc.) and an active commitment to reducing human suffering and promoting improved quality of life, especially among those sections of society most in need.”

(ISCHP, 2017)