SUBCAM Technology as an Instrument in Psychological Science



What results can experimental psychologists gain from the use of video recordings in studies, using the “subject-based” (SubCam) method? The experimental subject, rigged with a point-of-view camera, becomes a first-hand participant in any such study. At the same time, the “SubCam” approach allows the experimenter viewing the proceedings to immerse her/himself in the gestalt of the situation, from the subject’s point of view. In this article, two conditions of the SubCam method, those critical to the compilation of solid empirical data, are discussed. Firstly, the generation of a sense of trust in study participants, and secondly, a methodical triangulation method for comparing data collected during SubCam-recorded occurrences. As for the latter, special attention in this article is focused on “cooperative debriefing” as a possible way to facilitate the best interpretation of observed situations, and the conclusions that can be drawn.

General Information

Keywords: SubCam method, video monitoring, SubCam data methodology, cooperative debriefing, perception, activity, quality perception

Journal rubric: Research Methods

For citation: Lahlou S., Nosulenko V.N., Samoylenko E.S. SUBCAM Technology as an Instrument in Psychological Science. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2009. Vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 72–80. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


  1. Lahlou S., Nosulenko V. N. «Eksperimental’naya real’nost’»: systemnaya paradigma izucheniya i konstruirovaniya rasshirennyh sred ("Experimental reality": systemic frameworks of studying and constructing rich environment) // Ideya systemnosti v sovremennoi psihologii. (Systemity idea in modern Psychology) M.: IPRAN, 2005. S. 433–468.
  2. Lahlou S., Nosulenko V. N., Samoilenko E. S. Sredstva obscheniya v kontekste individual’noi i sovmestnoi deyatel’nosti (Means of interaction in the context of individual and shared activity) // Obschenie i poznanie. (Communication and cognition) M.: IP RAN, 2007. S. 407-434.
  3. Leont’ev A. N. Deyatel’nost’. Soznanie. Lichnost’. (Activity. Consciousness. Personality) M.: Politizdat, 1977.
  4. Lomov B. F. Metodologicheskie i teoreticheskie problemy psihologii. (Methodological and theoretical issues of Psychology) M.: Nauka, 1984.
  5. Nosulenko V. N. Psihofizika vospriyatiya estestvennoi sredy. Problema vosprinimaemogo kachestva. (Psychophysics of perception in natural environment. Perceived quality issue) M.: IP RAN, 2007.
  6. Rubinshtein S. L. Osnovy obschei psihologii. (Basics of General Psychology) M.: Uchpedgiz, 1940.
  7. Apostolidis T. Représentations sociales et triangulation: enjeux théorico-méthodologiques // J.-C. Abric (Ed.) Méthodes d’étude des représentations sociales. Ramonville Saint-Agne: Editions Erés, 2003. P. 13–36.
  8. Christensen U. Conventions and articulation work in a mobile workplace // ACM SIGGROUP Bulletin. 2001.Vol. 22. № 3. P. 16–21.
  9. Coolican H. Research methods and statistics in psychology. London: Hodder Arnold, 2007.
  10. Creswell J. W. Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches. Thousand Oaks, Calif.; London: Sage Publications. 2002.
  11. Lahlou S. Observing Cognitive Work in Offices // N. Streitz, J. Siegel, V. Hartkopf, S. Konomi (eds) Cooperative Buildings. Integrating Information, Organizations and Architecture. Heidelberg: Springer, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 1670, 1999. P. 150–163.
  12. Lahlou S. L’activité du point de vue de l’acteur et la question de l’intersubjectivité: huit années d’expériences avec des caméras miniaturisées fixées au front des acteurs (subcam) // Communications, 2006. № 80. P. 209–234.
  13. Lahlou S., Nosulenko V., Samoylenko E. Un cadre méthodologique pour le design des environnements augmentés // Informations sur les Sciences Sociales, 2002. Vol. 41. № 4. P. 471–530.
  14. Massey A. Methodological Triangulation, Or How To Get Lost Without Being Found Out // A. Massey, G.Walford (Eds.) Explorations in methodology, Studies in Educational Ethnography. Stanford: JAI Press. Vol. 2. P. 183–197.
  15. Nosulenko V. Mesurer les activités numérisées par leur qualité percue // Informations sur les Sciences Sociales. 2008. Vol. 47. № 3. P. 391–417.
  16. Nosulenko V., Samoylenko E. Approche systémique de l’analyse des verbalisations dans le cadre de l’étude des processus perceptifs et cognitifs // Informations sur les Sciences Sociales. 1997. Vol. 36. № 2. P. 223–261.
  17. Nosulenko V., Samoylenko E. Evaluation de la qualité percue des produits et services: approche interdisciplinaire // International Journal of Design and Innovation Research, 2001. Vol. 2. № 2. P. 35–60.
  18. Olsen W. Triangulation in Social Research: Qualitative and Quantitative Methods Can Really Be Mixed // Developments in Sociology. Ormskirk: Causeway Press.
  19. Zouinar M., Relieu M., Salembier P., Calvet G. Observation et capture de données sur l’interaction multimodale en mobilité // Actes des premiéres journées francophones Mobilité et Ubiquité 2004. Nice, Sophia-Antipolis: ACM.

Information About the Authors

Saadi Lahlou, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Director, London Schcool of Economics and Political Science, Institute of Social Psychology, London, Great Britain, e-mail:

Valeriy N. Nosulenko, Doctor of Psychology, Chief Researcher, Laboratory of Cognitive Processes and Mathematical Psychology, Institute of Psychology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Chief Researcher, Institute of Experimental Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Elena S. Samoylenko, Doctor of Psychology, Chief Researcher, Laboratory of Cognitive Processes and Mathematical Psychology, Institute of Psychology of RAS, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



Total: 3295
Previous month: 15
Current month: 8


Total: 596
Previous month: 4
Current month: 5