Understanding more fully: A multimodal hermeneutic-phenomenological approach

Zoe Boden, Virginia Eatough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article shares a research methodology that we argue supports human science researchers in their aim to understand lived experiences more fully. Drawing on Merleau-Pontian thinking, the paper outlines three dimensions of sense experience that underpin our approach: the felt-sense, aesthetic aspects of language, and visual imagery. We then detail this approach: the data-collection phase is a creative interviewing method, adapted from Imagery in Movement Method (Schneier, 1989) and focusing technique (Gendlin, 1997). This results in multimodal data: drawings, bodily and verbal accounts, rich in imagery. The analysis is an expanded hermeneutic-phenomenology, and in this article we focus in particular on our method for interpreting visual data. Three examples taken from a case-study about feeling guilty are provided to illustrate the potential of the approach. The paper concludes with some reflections on the impact of using a multimodal approach in human science research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-177
JournalQualitative Research in Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2013

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Qualitative Research in Psychology on 24/10/2013, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14780887.2013.853854


  • guilt
  • phenomenology
  • hermeneutics
  • Visual methods
  • Drawings
  • embodied methods
  • multi-modal research
  • idiographic
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis


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