Arts-based research, animal studies and Pavlov’s dogs: making the familiar strange in psychology

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In this article I report on the novel use of arts-based research to explore the lives of experimental animals in Ivan Pavlov’s physiological and psychological studies. I describe the collaborative production of two artefacts - a graphic novel and a public art installation consisting of a series of three-dimensional scale models. Both artefacts were designed to reimagine and re-present the detail of the lives and treatment of the dogs in Pavlov’s care, as entangled in wider human-animal relationships and events. I discuss the arts-based research process involved and reflect on the outcomes in relation to two objectives: to bring critical developments of ‘the animal turn’, animal studies and the posthumanities into contact with Psychology as a discipline; and to contribute to the development of methods concerned with addressing the complexity of human-animal and multispecies relationships. Finally I consider the broader potential of arts-based research for challenging anthropocentrism and fostering alternatives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-33
Number of pages33
JournalQualitative Research in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2024


  • General Psychology
  • Animals
  • arts-based research
  • comics-based research
  • Pavlov
  • visual methods


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