The topic of this bulletin arose from a talk given by Dr. Anna Bagnoli, who had used a variety of visual methods in addition to verbal interviews in order to holistically study young people’s identities. Intrigued by the question of how such data could be collected and analysed to contribute to understandings of psychological topics, the author of this post recently carried out an interview with Dr. Bagnoli on behalf of the Open University Psychological Society (Rouse, 2013). In this bulletin post the author will share what she has learnt from this interview and by researching the use of visual methods to explore experience and meaning.
For a present-day psychology graduate it can sometimes seem like one has entered the profession at the wrong time. Last year shone a glaring spotlight on fraud and misconduct in scientific research, the Reproducibility Project and Psych File Drawer began to prise open a lack of replication in psychological literature, and there was criticism and concern over an increasing number of unpaid research assistant/assistant psychologist jobs in the U.K. However this self-reflection and criticism should be seen as an opportunity for correction, and ultimately, a gradual change within the profession.
Sitting in a classroom and being lectured, I often felt a sense that I should not question what I am being taught. This was not due to any fault of the lecturers who mostly were very welcoming of students’ opinions. However, simply knowing that this was an area that they had spent years researching and seeing them sharing at their computers screen, or head in a book every time you look through their office window gave the sense that they must have all the answers and have a justified reason for their opinions whereas mine always felt too subjective to be taken seriously. During my undergraduate degree, my essays became more and more focused on the areas which we had been taught in class and less inclusive of the breath of what were my own opinions. This was simply because having a controversial argument seemed to lead to more frustration in conceiving the lecturer’s than arguing what was the ‘popular’ approach.