What is photo psychology

Photopsychology opens up a very young field of psychology – and a fascinating new look at photography. Psychology is defined as the science of human experience and behavior. So if experience and behavior are behavior is altered by photography, photo psychology is more than justified. It is even necessary. Photopsychology is about the influence of photography on behavior and experience. Traditional psychology sought laws of human behavior (e.g., of learning) that are valid across all time. But precisely because people can learn because their knowledge is composed of very different experiences and skills, the psyche (or in more technical terms: the inner information processing) can information processing) change over the course of epochs. People have pictorial memories, they think (almost exclusively, as e.g. Arnheim believes) in pictures. People’s pictorial thinking, for example, may change as a result of photography. This is what I try to trace here.


Whether we still have a picture of a beloved deceased person or not, influences the further memory of him. This is only one of many ways in which owning, making, or even just remembering photographs remembering photos interfere with our behavior and experience. Cultural development, in this case, the invention of photography, has an effect on the psyche. The person of the year 1890 has a psyche, thinks differently, and feels differently than the person of 1990. This insight has only recently become accepted in psychology. This book is also meant as a contribution to show the historical conditionality of human experience. There is already a work on photo psychology by Spitzing(1985), who deserves credit for having opened the subject. The second book finds its foundations more in photographic knowledge, while here a further development of photographic knowledge, while here a further development of photo psychology based on the basis of art psychology is attempted here (cf. Schuster 2001).


More recent work provides information on photographic pedagogy: Schafiyha (1997). In an advanced state of knowledge accumulation of a particular psychological subject, the author of a textbook will be able to draw on the body of knowledge that has been accumulated within that subject. has been accumulated, can be drawn upon. Usually, several overall accounts in journals and in established works provide outlines,
to which later authors adhere more or less closely.


In a young subject, the collection of knowledge offers only a patchwork, which alone to report would be of little use to the reader.
would be. The areas in which research could provide insights and initial hypotheses as to what results might be expected fill in the white spaces on the map of knowledge here. For both author and reader, this not yet “solidified” status of the subject is particularly exciting. Of course, it is a temptation to follow the first traces left on an almost untouched blanket of snow (of the state of knowledge), and the reader is much more directly than in later states of reporting, to compare the plausibility of what is presented with his own experience.

Yes, the voids are precisely those starting points on which the interested student of the subject can cooperate with his own research contributions.
can contribute. When theses and interpretations are given in this book, this is being given in this book, this is never meant to imply that all the photographic phenomena described always take place in this way or can be justified in this way. The same action can be determined in many different ways. Even such a basic and simple action as drinking liquid from a glass can have many different reasons: Once thirst, once out of the desire to become intoxicated, a third time – as in wine tasting – to test the taste of the liquid. How many more motives and variations there will be for the complex behavior of “taking pictures” and “being photographed”. Once the camera may be more in the sense of a defensive amulet, at other times it is simply a tool of the professional photographer. Also, evaluations of the various photographic activities and degrees of professionalization should be avoided.

The study of the literature is noticeable in many devaluations. In the art-related literature, the everyday snapper is ridiculed; but also the dedicated amateur who aspires to the aesthetics of photojournals is also looked down upon. The pejorative attitude of some authors is certainly due to the fact that they are that one would like to claim artistic value for one’s own activity and the closer they come to their own activity, the more they have to distinguish themselves from amateur photographic undertakings.
To me, it is precisely the diversity of the approach to photography that seems interesting. Because many topics that need to be dealt with have not yet been not yet explored in extensive statistical-empirical studies, the reader will often find individual examples here that have no probative force conclusive force, but which illustrate very vividly how the
psychology of a given circumstance is (or could be). At some parts of the book, one could speak of “narrative psychology” rather than empirical scientific psychology.


In my view of the development of psychology, this has great advantages. After all, scientific psychology, which tries to average over large sample groups, often tends to find the absolutely trivial, the unsurprising. The special shows up in the special individual case, but not in all elements (or at least the majority of the elements) of a sample.
majority of the elements) of a sample.