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An existential-phenomenological development of the visual matrix method

27 December 2016

Langdridge, D., Gabb, J. & Lawson, J. (2018). Working with group-level data in phenomenological research: a modified visual matrix method. Qualitative Research in Psychology. Advance online publication,


A common criticism of phenomenological methods has been that there is a singular focus on individual experience at the cost of broader group level phenomena. In contrast, psychoanalytically informed psychosocial methods have continued to develop novel ways of exploring group level material. A notable recent methodology is the visual matrix method (Froggett, Manley & Roy 2015), an innovative methodological development that draws on ideas from social dreaming (Lawrence 2003, 2005). In this article, we describe the development and application of a group level existential-phenomenological method, inspired by the visual matrix method. In collaboration with a filmmaker, we produced a film series designed to engage the public with research findings on “enduring love.” The viewing experience was explored using a modified version of the visual matrix method. We discuss the value of this methodological development for research within the phenomenological tradition as well as potential tensions.

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