Prolegomenon for a Body-Oriented Research Method in Psychology
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Mainstream psychology adheres to a reductionist perspective on the body which is founded on a biomedical framework. In this view, the bodys functioning is investigated as merely physiological correlates of mental processes. To fully understand psychological phenomena, there is a need to address the issue of the body at all levels of the research process. The main objective of this thesis is to offer a prolegomenon for a research method in psychology which would systematically work with the bodily expression through gesture and movement for understanding psychological questions. First, I discuss historical and theoretical underpinnings of body image scholarship, nonverbal communication work, phenomenology, and feminist theory. Second, I examine the existing methods from applied fields of body psychotherapy and dance practices. Finally, I provide a possible format of the body-oriented method (BOM), including the stages of data collection, data description, data interpretation, and representation of results.