Visual Matrix Workshop: Imagery, Affect and Visualisation in a Psychosocial Research Method 

Association for Psychosocial Studies 

in collaboration with

Birkbeck Institute for Social Research

Description: Description:

Visual Matrix Workshop: Imagery, Affect and Visualisation in a Psychosocial Research Method

Friday 5 June 201510.00am – 5.00pm | Room B03, 43 Gordon Square


This is the first workshop in our new series, “New Developments in Psychosocial Methods”, organised by Association for Psychosocial Studies in collaboration with the BISR.


Speakers: Lynn FroggettJulian Manley and Alastair Roy (all University of Central Lancashire)


The Visual Matrix is a new research method, led by imagery, affect and visualization, that has been developed in order to inquire into phenomena that research participants may find difficult to put into words. It works with a group, who are invited to respond associatively to a stimulus related to the research problem or question. Typically, the stimulus is presented in visual or other sensory form, and the group’s associations build up over the course of an hour into a ‘collage’ of images, affects and ideas. This collage provides the material for a discussion that is organised through ‘image mapping’. Both the matrix and the post-matrix discussion are then subjected to an interpretive process that is normally carried out by a research analytic panel.


The Visual Matrix, was developed and tested through a study (Froggett et al 2014) that aimed to understand the impact of public art on a town, through people’s experience of the artworks. This included unarticulated dimensions, still in the process of emergence a year after the artworks had arrived. It has since been used in clinical environments and social interventions where people are subjected to experiences they find hard to articulate; for example the ‘unspeakable’ experience of breast amputation following breast cancer surgery, or in the context  of an arts/health collaboration on erectile dysfunction.


The workshop will engage participants in a short ‘taster’ matrix and in the beginnings of the interpretive process that follows. The hybrid theoretical underpinnings of the visual matrix, will be highlighted and the further interpretative protocols, that would normally follow a matrix, explained. This will help to clarify the research outcomes that can be expected, and how they might differ from other group-based methods such as a focus group. Hence the workshop offers participation in a ‘live’ matrix, an understanding of how it is situated in a research process, and an opportunity to discuss its theoretical origins and research applications. A link to a short video clip of a visual matrix, recorded for demonstration purposes, can be found at


Froggett, L., Roy, A. and Manley, J., Prior, M. & Doherty, C. (2014) Public Art and Local Civic Engagement, Final Report, Arts and Humanities Research Council


Registration and payment are essential –book your place here
£15 Standard | £10 APS Members / Birkbeck Staff & Students | £5 APS Students /Unwaged APS Members

Categories: Higher Education

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