A Handbook of Visual Methods in Psychology : Using and Interpreting Images in Qualitative Research book cover
2nd Edition

A Handbook of Visual Methods in Psychology
Using and Interpreting Images in Qualitative Research

Edited By

Paula Reavey

ISBN 9781138491809
Published August 24, 2020 by Routledge
638 Pages 101 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This comprehensive volume explores the set of theoretical, methodological, ethical and analytical issues that shape the ways in which visual qualitative research is conducted in psychology. Using visual data such as film making, social media analyses, photography and model making, the book uniquely uses visual qualitative methods to broaden our understanding of experience and subjectivity.

In recent years, visual research has seen a growing emphasis on the importance of culture in experience-based qualitative methods. Featuring contributors from diverse research backgrounds including narrative psychology, personal construct theory and psychoanalysis, the book examines the potential for visual methods in psychology. In each chapter of the book, the contributors explore and address how a visual approach has contributed to existing social and psychological theory in their line of research.

The book provides up-to-date insights into combining methods to create new multi-modal methodologies, and analyses these with psychology-specific questions in mind. It covers topics such as sexuality, identity, group processes, child development, forensic psychology, race and gender, and would be the ideal companion for those studying or undertaking research in disciplines like psychology, sociology and gender studies.

Table of Contents

List of figures and tables


Preface to the second edition


List of contributors


1 The Return to Experience: Psychology and the Visual

Paula Reavey

Part I. Static media: the use of photography in qualitative research

2 Image and Imagination

Alan Radley

3 Bend it Like Beckham? The Challenges of Reading Gender and Visual Culture

Rosalind Gill

4 Using photographs to explore the embodiment of pleasure in everyday life

Lilliana Del Busso

5 Narrating Biographical Disruption and Repair: Exploring the Place of Absent Images in Women's Experiences of Cancer and Chemotherapy

Hannah Frith

6 Using photographs of places, spaces and objects to explore South Asian Women’s experience of close relationships and marriage

Anamika Majumdar

7 Reflections on a Photo-Production Study: Practical, Analytic and Epistemic Issues

Steven D. Brown, Ava Kanyeredzi, Laura McGrath, Paula Reavey & Ian Tucker

Part II. Dynamic features: social media, film and video qualitative research

8 Mental health apps, self-tracking and the visual

Lewis Goodings

9 The Visual in psychological research and child witness practice

Johanna Motzkau

10 The Video-Camera as a Cultural Object: The Presence of (an)Other.

Michael Forrester

11 Girls on Film: Video Diaries as ‘Autoethnographies’

Maria Pini & Valerie Walkerdine

12 Visual identities: Choreographies of gaze, body movement and speech and ‘ways of knowing’ in mother-midwife interaction

Helen Lomax

13 Methodological considerations for visual research on Instagram

Kayla Marshall, Kerry Chamberlain & Darrin Hodgetts

14 The big picture: Using visual methods to explore online photo sharing and gender in digital space.

Rose Capdevila & Lisa Lazard

Part III. Shared visions: opening up researcher-participant dialogues in the community and beyond

15 Visualising Mental Health with a LGBT Community Group: Method, Process, (Affect) Theory

Katherine Johnson

16 Imagery and Association in a group based method: the Visual Matrix

Lynne Froggett

17 Working with group-level data in phenomenological research: a modified visual matrix method

Darren Langdridge, Jacqui Gabb & Jamie Lawson

18 Risk Communication and Participatory Research : ‘Fuzzy Felt’, Visual Games and Group Discussion of Complex Issues

Angela Cassidy & John Maule

19 Picturing the Field: Social Action Research, Psychoanalytic Theory, and Documentary Filmmaking:

Janice Haaken

20 Moving from social networks to visual metaphors with the Relational Mapping Interview: An Example in Early Psychosis

Zoë V.R. Boden & Michael Larkin

21 Building visual worlds: Maps as a tool for exploring located experience

Laura McGrath & Shauna Mullarkey

22 Towards a Visual Social Psychology of Identity and Representation: photographing the self, weaving the family in a multicultural British community

Caroline Howarth and Shose Kessi

23 ‘I didn’t know that I could feel this relaxed in my body’: Using visual methods to research bisexual people’s embodied experiences of subjectivity and space

Helen Bowes-Catton, Meg-John Barker & Christina Richards

24 Travelling along ‘Rivers of Experience’: Personal Construct Psychology and visual metaphors in research.

Alex Iantaffi

25 Psychogeography and the Study of Social Environments: Extending Visual Methodological Research in Psychology

Alexander John Bridger

26 Tribal gatherings: Using art to disseminate research on club culture

Sarah Riley, Richard Brown, Christine Griffin & Yvette Morey

27 Sometimes all the lights go out in my head: creating Blackout the multi-sensory immersive experience of Bipolar II

Paul Hanna & Mig Burgess

Part IV. Ethical, analytical and methodological reflections on visual research

28 The photo-elicitation interview as a multimodal site for reflexivity

Tim Fawns

29 Image-based methodology in Social Psychology in Brazil: perspectives and possibilities

Arley Andriolo

30 Impressionist Reflections on Visual Research in Community Research and Action

Darrin Hodgetts, Kerry Chamberlain & Shiloh Groot

31 Polytextual Thematic Analysis for Visual Data – analying visual images.

Kate Gleeson

32 ‘So you think we’ve moved, changed, the representation got more what?’ Methodological and analytical reflections on visual (photo-elicitation) methods used in the men-as-fathers study

Karen Henwood, Fiona Shirani and Mark Finn

33 On Utilising a Visual Methodology: Shared Reflections and Tensions

llana Mountian, Rebecca Lawthom, Anne Kellock, Karen Duggan, Judith Sixsmith, Carolyn Kagan, Jennifer Hawkins, John Haworth, Asiya Siddiquee, Claire Worley, David Brown, John Griffiths & Christina Purcell


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Paula Reavey is Professor of Psychology and Mental Health at London South Bank University, UK, and Director of Research and Education for the Design in Mental Health Network, UK. She has used a variety of visual-qualitative methods to examine lived experiences of memory, mental health and distress.


Praise for the previous edition:

'A Handbook of Visual Methods in Psychology establishes a major contribution to the growing body of theories on visual methods in psychology. ... The reader is presented with a great diversity of practices and methods of visual data ... [which] expands our understanding of the broad range of possibilities, constraints and of caveats that are in involved in visual practices in research methodology. ... The overall composition of the book is framed as an interpretive guideline by the editor, that enables students, practitioners, researchers and scientists easy access to the content. ... The wide-ranging content of this work offers a diverse spectrum of empirical studies and theories about the intrinsic strengths of visual approaches in psychology research methods that could be invaluable to social work educators and students.' - Kees J.M Van Haaster, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands, in The International Journal for Social Work and Social Care Education

'This book brings something genuinely new to the rapidly growing field of visual research. In fact, as a collection it provides a real step change in our understanding of the nature, the roles and the potential of visual research methods.' Alan Bryman, Professor of Organizational and Social Research, The University of Leicester, UK

'The scope of this text is impressive. It spans a good range of approaches to analysis and theoretical approaches, and covers an engaging array of areas of psychology. What is really commendable is the interpretive framework provided by the editor in framing why and how visual materials have now – eventually – come into use within psychological research. This makes it a very welcome volume that addresses a current gap in methodological debates within psychology.' - Erica Burman, Professor of Education, University of Manchester, UK