Rethinking Measures of Psychological Agency: A Study on the Urban Fringe of Bamako

Klein, Elise, and Ballon, Paola. 2017. Rethinking Measures of Psychological Agency: A Study on the Urban Fringe of Bamako. The Journal of Development Studies. Published online: 27 Dec 2017: 1-19. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220388.2017.1414187.

Attempts to measure psychological agency have drawn on social psychology scholarship. Nonetheless, it is well documented that the Euro/American psychology paradigm is challenged by its tendency to universalise its theories. This raises a challenge for development scholars trying to measure the psychological domain; especially regarding understanding what the psychological domain may mean to people outside the Western liberal tradition. We examine the use of theoretical measures of psychological agency against local concepts of psychological agency from a neighbourhood on the urban fringe of Bamako. We conclude that there is no clear association between local and theoretical measures of psychological agency and therefore there is a need to include local and theoretical measures in the study of agency.

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