Visual Methods in Qualitative Psychological Research of Personality



The article is focused on advantages of using visual methods in qualitative psychological research of personality. The visual turn is not new for the social sciences. Still, this trend is relatively new for psychology. Currently, visual forms of communication have significantly expanded their influence in all areas of culture. This change has led to a rethinking of the strategy of using various visual data in psychological research. In modern qualitative research, visual data is represented by a variety of cultural instruments, from maps, diagrams and matrices, to photographs, videos, collages and drawings. A comprehensive analysis of this problem requires a multimodal approach, representing a combination of different types of communication (audio, visual, textual) and corresponding types of data (spoken words, music, sounds, written words, images, photographs, maps, videos, etc.). This approach lets us set new research tasks and explore new areas, e.g. emotional and bodily components of personal experience and personal changes. The expansion of the scope of visual methods should positively influence the researcher's ethical choices.

General Information

Keywords: visual methods, multimodal approach, personal experience, personality change, cultural means, culture

Journal rubric: Theory and Methodology

Article type: scientific article


Funding. The reported study was funded by Russian Foundation for Basic Research (RFBR), project number 19-313- 90078.

For citation: Shilmanskaya A.E. Visual Methods in Qualitative Psychological Research of Personality. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2020. Vol. 16, no. 4, pp. 49–55. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2020160405. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Alesya E. Shilmanskaya, PhD Student, School of Psychology Faculty of Social Sciences, National Research University Higher School of Economics, Senior Researcher, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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