2nd Edition

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

Edited By Paula Reavey Copyright 2021
    638 Pages 101 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    638 Pages 101 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.

    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



    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