Staff within the Department of Psychology have a wide range of specialist expertise and knowledge. We work together in a number of research groups through which we support the work of both staff and students in the Department. In addition, we are able to offer a range of services on a consultancy basis. If you would like to discuss collaboration or consultancy with us, please do get in touch. Our research groups play an important role in the Department of Psychology. The groups meet regularly throughout the academic year and provide opportunities for members to discuss their current research, ideas for new research projects, or simply to discuss an interesting journal article or conference presentation they've seen. They also provide an important support structure for junior researchers, including MPhil and PhD students.

Recent Submissions

  • The potential of preregistration in psychology: Assessing preregistration producibility and preregistration-study consistency

    van den Akker, Olmo R.; Bakker, Marjan; van Assen, Marcel A. L. M.; Pennington, Charlotte R.; Verweij, Leone; Elsherif, Mahmoud M.; Claesen, Aline; Gaillard, Stefan D. M.; Yeung, Siu Kit; Frankenberger, Jan-Luca; et al. (American Psychological Association, 2024)
    Study preregistration has become increasingly popular in psychology, but its potential to restrict researcher degrees of freedom has not yet been empirically verified. We used an extensive protocol to assess the producibility (i.e., the degree to which a study can be properly conducted based on the available information) of preregistrations and the consistency between preregistrations and their corresponding papers for 300 psychology studies. We found that preregistrations often lack methodological details and that undisclosed deviations from preregistered plans are frequent. These results highlight that biases due to researcher degrees of freedom remain possible in many preregistered studies. More comprehensive registration templates typically yielded more producible preregistrations. We did not find that the producibility and consistency of preregistrations differed over time or between original and replication studies. Furthermore, we found that operationalizations of variables were generally preregistered more producible and consistently than other study parts. Inconsistencies between preregistrations and published studies were mainly encountered for data collection procedures, statistical models, and exclusion criteria. Our results indicate that, to unlock the full potential of preregistration, researchers in psychology should aim to write more producible preregistrations, adhere to these preregistrations more faithfully, and more transparently report any deviations from their preregistrations. This could be facilitated by training and education to improve preregistration skills, as well as the development of more comprehensive templates.
  • ‘Ripple effects’ of urban environmental characteristics on cognitive performance in Eurasian red squirrels

    Chow, Pizza; Uchida, Kenta; Koizumi, Itsuro; University of Chester; Hokkaido University (Wiley, 2024)
    Urban areas are expanding exponentially, leading more species of wildlife living in urban environments. Urban environmental characteristics, such as human disturbance, induce stress for many wildlife and have been shown to affect some cognitive traits, such as innovative problem-solving performance. However, because different cognitive traits have common cognitive processes, it is possible that urban environmental characteristics may directly and indirectly affect related cognitive traits (the ripple effect hypothesis). We tested the ripple effect hypothesis in urban Eurasian red squirrels residing in 11 urban areas that had different urban environmental characteristics (direct human disturbance, indirect human disturbance, areas of green coverage, and squirrel population size). These squirrels were innovators who had previously repeatedly solved a food-extraction task (the original task). Here, we examined whether and how urban environmental characteristics would directly and indirectly influence performance in two related cognitive traits, generalisation and (long-term) memory. The generalisation task required the innovators to apply the learned successful solutions when solving a similar but novel problem. The memory task required them to recall the learned solution of the original task after an extended period of time. Some of the selected urban environmental characteristics directly influenced the task performance, both at the population level (site) and at individual levels. Urban environmental characteristics, such as increased direct and indirect human disturbance, decreased the proportion of success in solving the generalisation task or the memory task at the population (site) level. Increased direct human disturbance and less green coverage increased the solving efficiency at individual levels. We also found an indirect effect in one of the urban environmental characteristics, indirect human disturbance, in the generalisation task, but not the memory task. Such an effect was only seen at the individual level but not at the population level; indirect human disturbance decreased the first original latency, which then decreased the generalisation latency across successes. Our results partially support the ripple effect hypothesis, suggesting that urban environmental characteristics are stressors for squirrels and have a greater impact on shaping cognitive performance than previously shown. Together, these results provide a better understanding of cognitive traits that support wildlife in adapting to urban environments.
  • The Sport and Exercise Psychology Practitioner’s Contribution to Service Delivery Outcomes

    Tod, David; Slade, Kate; Lafferty, Moira; Lancaster University; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2024)
    The purpose of this article is to review research related to the practitioner’s contribution to effective service delivery. Specifically, we answer five questions. First, what are sport and exercise psychology practitioners striving to achieve? Second, what is expertise in applied sport and exercise psychology? Third, what are characteristics of effective practitioners? Fourth, how can practitioners develop their expertise over time? Fifth, how do practitioners manage the athlete variables and contextual factors that influence service delivery? Offering answers to these questions allows us to identify practical implications to inform practitioner training and development and to suggest avenues to expand knowledge. Results from the review suggest that practitioners who help athletes effectively possess facilitative interpersonal skills, experience professional self-doubt, engage in judicious decision making, exercise organizational savviness, demonstrate multicultural humility, and willingly engage in skill development. Based on current knowledge, future research directions include examining the magnitude of practitioner attributes on service delivery outcomes. Applied implications for professional development include the use of deliberate practice to enhance skill learning, along with using supervision and feedback.
  • Detecting Deception

    Wright, Clea; University of Chester (Policy Press, 2023-04-18)
    This chapter presents an overview of research on how we may be able to detect deception. Key ideas, findings, and challenges are outlined, and contexts in which the assessment of credibility may be relevant are considered. Four major approaches to detecting deception are discussed and evaluated; observing non-verbal behaviour, measuring physiological responses, measuring neural activity, and analysing verbal accounts. The focus is directed at approaches that have the greatest utility in an applied policing context and in investigative interviewing. The chapter also explores strategies to elicit cues to deception and maximise the differences between liars and truth-tellers, and dispels some common misconceptions.
  • White paper on forensic child interviewing: research-based recommendations by the European Association of Psychology and Law

    Korkman, Julia; Otgaar, Henry; Geven, Linda M.; Bull, Ray; Cyr, Mireille; Hershkowitz, Irit; Mäkelä, Juha-Matti; Mattison, Michelle; Milne, Rebecca; Santtila, Pekka; et al. (Taylor & Francis, 2024-04-18)
    This white paper consists of evidence-based recommendations for conducting forensic interviews with children. The recommendations are jointly drafted by researchers in child interviewing active within the European Association of Psychology and Law and are focused on cases in which children are interviewed in forensic settings, in particular within investigations of child sexual and/or physical abuse. One particular purpose of the white paper is to assist the growing Barnahus movement in Europe to develop investigative practise that is science-based. The key recommendations entail the expertise required by interviewers, how interviews should be conducted and how interviewers should be trained. Interviewers are advised to use evidence-based interview protocols, engage in hypothesis-testing and record their interviews. The need to prepare the interview well and making efforts to familiarise the child with the interview situation and create rapport as well as acknowledging cultural factors and the possible need for interpretation is underscored, and a recommendation is made not to rely on dolls, body diagrams and the interpretation of drawings in the interviews. Online child interviewing is noted as showing promising results, but more research is warranted before conclusive recommendations can be made. Interviewers should receive specialised training and continuous feedback on their interviews.
  • Identification and support of autistic individuals within the UK Criminal Justice System: a practical approach based upon professional consensus with input from lived experience

    Woodhouse, Emma; Hollingdale, Jack; Davies, Lisa; Al-Attar, Zainab; Young, Susan; Vinter, Luke P.; Agyemang, Kwaku; Bartlett, Carla; Berryessa, Colleen; Chaplin, Eddie; et al. (BMC, 2024-04-12)
    Background: Autism spectrum disorder (hereafter referred to as autism) is characterised by difficulties with (i) social communication, social interaction, and (ii) restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours. Estimates of autism prevalence within the criminal justice system (CJS) vary considerably, but there is evidence to suggest that the condition can be missed or misidentified within this population. Autism has implications for an individual’s journey through the CJS, from police questioning and engagement in court proceedings through to risk assessment, formulation, therapeutic approaches, engagement with support services, and long-term social and legal outcomes. Methods: This consensus based on professional opinion with input from lived experience aims to provide general principles for consideration by United Kingdom (UK) CJS personnel when working with autistic individuals, focusing on autistic offenders and those suspected of offences. Principles may be transferable to countries beyond the UK. Multidisciplinary professionals and two service users were approached for their input to address the effective identification and support strategies for autistic individuals within the CJS. Results: The authors provide a consensus statement including recommendations on the general principles of effective identification, and support strategies for autistic individuals across different levels of the CJS. Conclusion: Greater attention needs to be given to this population as they navigate the CJS.
  • The Hummingbird Project Year 2: Decreasing Distress and Fostering Flourishing in a Pragmatic Pre-Post Study

    Platt, Ian A.; Hochard, Kevin; Kannangara, Chathurika; Tytherleigh, Michelle; Carson, Jerome; McFaul, Claudine; North, Catherine; MedEquip4Kids; University of Chester; University of Bolton; The Open University (Frontiers Media, 2024-03-25)
    Multi-component Positive Psychology Interventions (mPPIs) in secondary schools have been shown to improve mental health outcomes for young people. The Hummingbird Project mPPI is a six-week program of workshops designed to introduce a variety of positive psychology (PP) concepts to secondary school aged children in schools to improve well-being, resilience, and hope. The effects on mental distress, however, were not explored. The current study, therefore, was designed to replicate the effects of the Hummingbird Project mPPI on positive mental health and to also explore the effects on symptoms of mental distress. Secondary school-aged children (N = 614; mean age = 11.46 years) from a sample of secondary schools located across the North West of England (N = 7) participated in the study; the majority of children were in Year 7 (94%). The PP concepts explored included happiness, hope, resilience, mindfulness, character strengths, growth mindset, and gratitude. The results showed significant improvements associated with the mPPI in well-being (as measured by the World Health Organization Well-Being Index; WHO-5), hope (as measured by the Children’s Hope Scale; CHS), and symptoms of mental distress (as measured by the Young Person’s Clinical Outcomes in Routine Evaluation; YP-CORE) from pre- to post-intervention. While acknowledging the limits due to pragmatic concerns regarding the implementation of a control group, the effectiveness of the Hummingbird Project mPPI on well-being was replicated alongside reducing the symptoms of mental distress. Future evaluation, however, will need to implement more robust designs and consider follow-up duration to assess the longer-term effects of the Hummingbird Project mPPI.
  • How do we know educational interventions work?

    Hochard, Kevin; University of Chester (Emerald Publishing, 2024-02-13)
    The overall aim of this chapter is to focus on the process of, and issues warranting consideration for, the evaluation of educational interventions. In particular, to outline some key considerations for educators to follow when assessing the evidence-base for interventions they might be considering for use in their practice. Also, important considerations for those wishing to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention they have initiated, as well as a useful checklist which summarises this all. Recognising that some readers of this chapter might be practitioners rather than researchers, it has been written with the practitioner in mind in, hopefully, a simple and practical way. There are, however, further opportunities for additional reading and resources signposted throughout for those who wish to read up on any of these areas more. In addition to those cited throughout and referenced in the Reference list at the end, there is also section that provides the author’s Additional recommended Readings and Resources to follow-up on. Readers might also want to refer to Chapter 3 in this book which discusses Single versus Multiple PPI approaches.
  • Demographic and clinical characteristics impact the use of restrictive interventions in an adolescent inpatient unit

    Doyle, Lesley; Hochard, Kevin; Wadsworth, Robynne; Pender, Fiona; Watkin, Anna; Jaydeokar, Sujeet; Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust; University of Chester
    In adolescents admitted to mental health inpatient units, restrictive interventions are associated with a risk of physical and psychological harm. Mental health policy and legal frameworks advocate least restrictive options and there is a drive to reduce the use of restrictive interventions in inpatient units. There is insufficient evidence pertaining to the characteristics of UK adolescents who are at risk of experiencing restrictive interventions within general adolescent mental health units. This study aimed to determine whether demographic and clinical characteristics are associated with the use and type of restrictive interventions. A retrospective cohort study was conducted using routinely collected data from a general adolescent unit in the National Health Service (NHS) in England, UK, over a 2-year period (1st January 2021 to 31st December 2022). There were three key findings. Of the 122 adolescents admitted, 46(38%) experienced restrictive intervention. Characteristics associated with the increased use of restrictive interventions included diagnosis of behavioural and emotional disorders and being a child looked after by the local authority. Being male was significantly associated with seclusion and being a child looked after was significantly associated with the use of physical and chemical interventions. These findings have important implications for policy and practice; they highlight the need for careful consideration by professionals, as to whether the risks of admission including the increased risk of restrictive interventions outweigh the potential benefits and for further consideration of the most appropriate strategies for reducing the need for and use of restrictive interventions.
  • Ape recognition of familiar human faces changed by time and COVID-19 face masks

    Murray, Lindsay; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2024-03-28)
    Reports of primates being able to recognise familiar humans are rare in the literature and tend to be regarded as anecdotal. The COVID-19 pandemic created two unique conditions facilitating the observation of spontaneous face recognition in zoo apes: i) lengthy gaps in contact with human visitors due to lockdowns and zoo closures, and ii) the wearing of face masks obscuring at least half the face of familiar individuals. Here, I report on the historical context of the familiarity between a primatologist and individual apes of two species, how those apes consistently showed recognition of this particular human over a time span of up to thirty years, how facial recognition was extended to family members, and how recognition persisted even when a significant portion of the face was obscured by a mask. This constitutes, to my knowledge, the first documented cases of recognition of familiar human faces changed by time and COVID-19 face masks in two great ape species. Although based on just two individuals, the documentation of this ability is important because it arose in a more naturalistic and spontaneous context compared to typical face processing research in which primates are tested with experimental stimuli in a laboratory setting. Implications for face processing theory and applications for the therapeutic utility of faces are discussed. These observations provide insight into the evolutionary origins of face recognition and, sitting at the interface of science and society, are of interest to a wide audience.
  • Young children’s conceptions of computing in an African setting

    Oyedoyin, Mayowa; Sanusi, Ismaila Temitayo; Ayanwale, Musa Adekunle; University of Chester; University of Eastern Finland; University of Johannesburg (Taylor & Francis, 2024-02-11)
  • Exploring Footedness, Throwing Arm, and Handedness as Predictors of Eyedness Using Cluster Analysis and Machine Learning: Implications for the Origins of Behavioural Asymmetries

    Rodway, Paul; Rodway, Curtis; Schepman, Astrid; University of Chester (MDPI, 2024-02-02)
    Behavioural asymmetries displayed by individuals, such as hand preference and foot preference, tend to be lateralized in the same direction (left or right). This may be because their co-ordination conveys functional benefits for a variety of motor behaviours. To explore the potential functional relationship between key motor asymmetries, we examined whether footedness, handedness, or throwing arm was the strongest predictor of eyedness. Behavioural asymmetries were measured by self-report in 578 left-handed and 612 right-handed individuals. Cluster analysis of the asymmetries revealed four handedness groups: consistent right-handers, left-eyed right-handers, consistent left-handers, and inconsistent left-handers (who were left-handed but right-lateralized for footedness, throwing and eyedness). Supervised machine learning models showed the importance of footedness, in addition to handedness, in determining eyedness. In right-handers, handedness was the best predictor of eyedness, followed closely by footedness, and for left-handers it was footedness. Overall, predictors were more informative in predicting eyedness for individuals with consistent lateral preferences. Implications of the findings in relation to the origins and genetics of handedness and sports training are discussed. Findings are related to fighting theories of handedness and to bipedalism, which evolved after manual dexterity, and which may have led to some humans being right-lateralized for ballistic movements and left-lateralized for hand dexterity.
  • Supporting people with social care needs on release from prison: A scoping review

    Tucker, Sue; Buck, Deborah; Roberts, Amy; Hargreaves, Claire; University of Manchester; University of Chester; Lancaster University (International Long Term Care Policy Network, 2024-02-13)
    Context: Social care need in prisons is increasing in many countries. However, the delivery of social care in prisons has been (at best) inconsistent and there has been no previous review to inform provision for people on release. Objective: To identify and synthesise what is known about the social care needs of people on release from prison and how best to meet these. Method: A scoping review encompassing systematic searches of 26 electronic databases (January 2010-July 2021) included a wide range of literature. No exclusions were made on the basis of study design, method or quality. Findings were organised according to their contribution to the research questions. Findings: Forty-six documents met the review criteria of which 27 were from the UK. Just two focused specifically on the topic of interest and most of the extracted material was descriptive in nature. Almost no information was found on the number of people released from prison in need of social care. However, the challenges of providing care for this group appeared well understood. Although there were many examples of good practice and widespread consensus about its enablers, outcome information was lacking. Limitations: In keeping with the nature of the review, the quality of the literature was not formally assessed. Implications: The review identified several promising initiatives ranging from prison buddy schemes to pre-release training in everyday living skills and personalised pathway documents. Conclusions: Policy makers and researchers must now shift their attention to the effectiveness of particular interventions in improving social care outcomes.
  • Breaking the Boundaries Collective – A Manifesto for Relationship-based Practice

    Darley, Danica; Blundell, Peter; Cherry, Lisa; Wong, Jock; Wilson, Ann-Marie; Vaughan, Sarah; Vandenberghe, Kathleen; Taylor, Bethan; Scott, K.; Ridgeway, T.; et al. (Taylor & Francis, 2024-02-23)
    We are a group of service users, professionals and services who began a project called Breaking the Boundaries Collective. This project advocates and campaigns for relationship-based practice (RBP). We offer resources and guidance for ways to achieve it. We encourage and foster discussions and debates on aspects of RBP that challenge hegemonic notions of professional boundaries.
  • Gambling, cryptocurrency, and financial trading app marketing in English Premier League football: A frequency analysis of in-game logos

    Torrance, Jamie; Heath, Conor; Andrade, Maira; Newall, Philip; Swansea University; University of Chester; University of East London; University of Bristol; CQ University (Akadémiai Kiadó, 2023-11-27)
    The gamblification of UK football has resulted in a proliferation of in-game marketing associated with gambling and gambling-like products such as cryptocurrencies and financial trading apps. The English Premier League (EPL) has in response banned gambling logos on shirt-fronts from 2026 onward. This ban does not affect other types of marketing for gambling (e.g., sleeves and pitch-side hoardings), nor gambling-like products. This study therefore aimed to assess the ban's implied overall reduction of different types of marketing exposure. Methods: We performed a frequency analysis of logos associated with gambling, cryptocurrency, and financial trading across 10 broadcasts from the 2022/23 EPL season. For each relevant logo, we coded: the marketed product, associated brand, number of individual logos, logo location, logo duration, and whether harm-reduction content was present. Results: There were 20,941 relevant logos across the 10 broadcasts, of which 13,427 (64.1%) were for gambling only, 2,236 (10.7%) were for both gambling and cryptocurrency, 2,014 (9.6%) were for cryptocurrency only, 2,068 (9.9%) were for both cryptocurrency and financial trading, and 1,196 (5.7%) were for financial trading only. There were 1,075 shirt-front gambling-associated logos, representing 6.9% of all gambling-associated logos, and 5.1% of all logos combined. Pitch-side hoardings were the most frequent marketing location (52.3%), and 3.4% of logos contained harm-reduction content. Discussion & Conclusions: Brand logos associated with gambling, cryptocurrency, and financial trading are common within EPL broadcasts. Approximately 1 in 20 gambling and gambling-like logos are subject to the EPL's voluntary ban on shirt-front gambling sponsorship.
  • The role of prosocial behaviour, personality and general mental health in predicting emoji use and preference

    Carroll, Janine; University of Chester (SAGE Publications, 2023-12-07)
    Emojis are prevalent in text-based communication, but the factors that influence our use and preference emojis remains unclear. This study investigated how emoji use and preference could be explained by three factors; mental health, personality and prosocial behaviour. A questionnaire consisting of five measures was completed by 222 participants and both Pearson correlations and multiple regressions were conducted on the data. The results showed prosocial behaviour significantly related to frequency, attitudes and motivations towards emoji use as well as to positive emoji preference. Agreeableness related to the frequency of emoji use. Extraversion related to both positive and negative emoji preference while conscientiousness and emotional stability significantly related to negative emoji preference only. General mental health significantly related to negative emoji preference. The regressions found all of the factors identified in the correlations predicted emoji use and preference with the exception of extraversion. Further research is needed to explore how the impact of the emotions depicted by emojis on these factors and to investigate how emojis are used by people with specific mental health conditions
  • ‘Chances are you’re about to lose’: new independent Australian safer gambling messages tested in UK and USA bettor samples

    Newall, Philip; Torrance, Jamie; Russell, Alex M. T.; Rockloff, Matthew; Hing, Nerilee; Browne, Matthew; University of Bristol; Experimental Gambling Research Laboratory, Sydney; University of Chester; Swansea University; CQUniversity (Taylor & Francis, 2023-11-21)
    Current industry-developed safer gambling messages such as ‘Take time to think’ and ‘Gamble responsibly’ have been criticized as ineffective slogans. As a result, Australia has recently introduced seven independently-developed safer gambling messages. The UK Government intends to introduce independently-developed messages from 2024 onwards, and this measure could be similarly appropriate for the US states where sports betting has been legalized and gambling advertising has become pervasive. Given this context, the current study recruited race and sports bettors from the UK and USA to elicit their perceptions of the seven Australian safer gambling messages. Participants (N = 1865) rated on a Likert-scale seven newly introduced messages and two existing ones (‘Take time to think’ and ‘Gamble responsibly’) using seven evaluative statements. Participants also reported their levels of problem gambling severity. For most statements in both jurisdictions, the new messages performed significantly better than the existing ones. Specifically, the new messages were deemed more attention grabbing, applicable on a personal level, helpful to gamblers, and more likely to encourage cutbacks in gambling. The message that included a specific call to action (‘What are you prepared to lose today? Set a deposit limit’) was one of the best performing messages. Interaction effects observed in relation to jurisdiction, age, gender, and problem gambling severity were generally small enough to counteract the argument that different populations might benefit from substantially different messages. These findings add to previous research on the independent design of effective safer gambling messages.
  • Resilience and mental toughness as predictors of anxiety, depression, and mental well-being

    Naden, Emma; Schepman, Astrid; Bilton, Gareth; Rodway, Paul; University of Chester (PAGEPress, 2023-10-09)
    To examine how strongly the attributes of resilience and mental toughness predicted levels of anxiety, depression, and mental well-being, a quantitative online survey of 281 adults was employed. The survey was conducted in the United Kingdom (April to June 2021) using opportunity sampling. Resilience, mental toughness, and mental well-being were measured by the 10-item Connor-Davidson resilience scale, the 10-item mental toughness questionnaire, and the 14-item Warwick-Edinburgh mental well-being scale, respectively. In addition, the hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS) measured anxiety and depression, and the patient health questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9) was used to measure depression. Hierarchical multiple regression was used to analyze which attribute was the strongest predictor of mental health. Mental toughness was found to be a significantly stronger predictor of well-being (β=0.54) than resilience (β=0.21), of anxiety (β=-0.70 versus 0.02, respectively), of HADS depression (β=-0.52 versus -0.15), and of PHQ-9 depression (β=-0.62 versus -0.09). We propose that mental toughness may predict well-being more strongly than resilience because it is a broader construct, incorporating proactive traits that enhance well-being. The findings suggest that training and interventions that enhance mental toughness in non-clinical populations may be more effective at promoting mental well-being and reducing anxiety and depression than those that enhance resilience. Further research is required to test these practical implications and to clarify why mental toughness is a stronger predictor than resilience for positive mental health.
  • Responding well to Spiritual Abuse: practice implications for counselling and psychotherapy

    Oakley, Lisa; Kinmond, Kathryn; Blundell, Peter; University of Chester; Birmingham City University; Liverpool John Moores University (Taylor & Francis, 2024-02-22)
    This paper presents the findings of a survey exploring people’s understandings and experiences of Spiritual Abuse (SA) in a Christian faith context. The online survey was completed by 1591 individuals from the UK, 1002 of whom identified as having experienced SA. Inclusion criteria were: membership of the Christian faith, being or having been, a Church attender or member of a Christian organisation and to have heard of the term SA. Participants detailed the features of an effective response to disclosures of SA and many of these are directly relevant to counselling and psychotherapy practice. Additionally, the research findings echo repeated calls in previous research for the necessity to include discussions of religion and faith in initial training and continuing professional development for counsellors and psychotherapists. Finally, the paper suggests a next step would be the establishment of a network of counsellors with training and knowledge about SA.
  • Missing People and Fragmented Stories: Painting Holistic Pictures through Single Pen Portrait Analysis (SPPA)

    Blundell, Peter; Oakley, Lisa; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2023-11-18)
    A pen portrait is an analytical technique for analysing, condensing, and depicting qualitative data from participants that can also incorporate themes or patterns. Pen portraits are a useful qualitative analytical technique that has not been adequately explored. A review of the use of pen portraits indicates that researchers have employed them in different ways across a variety of disciplines. These studies do not provide sufficient detail to enable researchers to understand the analytical process or undertake pen portraits and therefore be able to apply this. This scarcity of detail makes it difficult to engage with pen portraits as a trustworthy form of qualitative analysis. This paper outlines the authors’ approach called Single Pen Portrait Analysis (SPPA). This qualitative analytical technique was used by both authors, to overcome the issue of fragmented people or experience during their initial analysis. This paper describes ways that researchers could identify SPPA as a useful approach for answering their research question, and then details a step-by-step guide for completing this type of analysis. This guide is offered alongside two worked examples from the authors’ doctoral research projects to help researchers apply this analytical technique in practice. A tentative critical analysis of SPPA is offered. Finally, there is an argument for qualitative researchers to access the untapped potential of pen portraits by creatively engaging with them.

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