International Association of Educators   |  ISSN: 1949-4270   |  e-ISSN: 1949-4289

Original article | Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research 2023, Vol. 18(1) 175-195

Is Self-Criticism Really a Trigger of Psychological Problems? An Analysis of Self-Criticism in the Context of Turkish University Students

Nesrullah Okan

pp. 175 - 195   |  DOI:   |  Manu. Number: MANU-2107-17-0001

Published online: March 08, 2023  |   Number of Views: 8  |  Number of Download: 25


This study aims to examine the concept of self-criticism in the context of Western and Eastern cultures and to examine graduate students’ perceptions regarding this concept. When reviewing the Western literature, researchers have generally associated the idea of self-criticism with psychopathology, while researchers in Eastern cultures typically interpret the notion of self-criticism positively. This qualitative study consists of three stages and uses open-ended questions to measure the perceptions of students from different graduate programs with regard to self-criticism. The researcher asked the students about their perceptions toward self-criticism in the first stage, questions about the concepts they’d associated with self-criticism in the second stage, and questions involving metaphors about what students liken to self-criticism in the third stage. Within the scope of the research, the researcher accessed 41 students for the first stage, 52 students for the second stage, and 32 students for the third stage. In all three studies conducted within the scope of this research, it was concluded that self-criticism is not perceived negatively in Turkish culture but rather evaluated as positive. Although there have been a few negative themes, self-criticism is generally perceived as a concept that brings people well. The most crucial aspect that makes this research valuable is that it provides a critical perspective on the pairing of self-criticism with psychological problems in the psychology literature. It is understood that self-criticism is seen as an essential source of individual development in Turkish culture rather than being the source of psychological problems. When the psychology literature is examined, it is seen that self-criticism is generally considered the trigger of psychological problems. Self-criticism is regarded as a situation that harms self-esteem. However, in eastern cultures, self-criticism is accepted as a prerequisite for a healthy identity. In this study, this conclusion was reached in three stages.

Keywords: Self-Criticism, Interview, Metaphor, Qualitative Research, Experience

How to Cite this Article?

APA 6th edition
Okan, N. (2023). Is Self-Criticism Really a Trigger of Psychological Problems? An Analysis of Self-Criticism in the Context of Turkish University Students . Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research, 18(1), 175-195. doi: 10.29329/epasr.2023.525.8

Okan, N. (2023). Is Self-Criticism Really a Trigger of Psychological Problems? An Analysis of Self-Criticism in the Context of Turkish University Students . Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research, 18(1), pp. 175-195.

Chicago 16th edition
Okan, Nesrullah (2023). "Is Self-Criticism Really a Trigger of Psychological Problems? An Analysis of Self-Criticism in the Context of Turkish University Students ". Educational Policy Analysis and Strategic Research 18 (1):175-195. doi:10.29329/epasr.2023.525.8.

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