The Program consists of five one-day seminars. Each seminar is open to the public, and each seminar will tackle a key topic. All the seminars will take place at the LSE. The dates and topics are below:

Videos from our March 8 seminar

Dr. Alex Gillespie: Integrating First and Third Person Points of View

Dr. Monika Buscher: How to "Follow the Information"

Dr. Sabine Boesen-Mariani: Modifying Polish Children's Unhealthy Drinking Patterns: Understanding the Impact of our Action Research

Prof. Saadi Lahlou: Behaviour and Activity: Accessing Subjective Experience

8 March 2013: First Person Perspective Video Data: Discovering New Questions

New methods create new academic questions. What questions are created by mobile first person perspective digital data? The method forces us to engage with how the perspectives of actors and observers are integrated, the contextual and situated nature of human activity, and the fact that people move between contexts and activities.


Integrating first and third person points of view Dr. Alex Gillespie

How to 'follow the information' Dr. Monika Buscher

Modifying Polish Children's Unhealthy Drinking Patterns: Understanding the Impact of our Action Research Dr. Sabine Boesen-Mariani

Behaviour and activity: Accessing subjective experience Prof. Saadi Lahlou

Panel Discussion


First person perspective digital ethnography introduces exciting new theoretical and applied research questions. The second seminar aimed to explore and map out these new questions.

Dr. Alex Gillespie (London School of Economics) discussed the significance of first person perspective methodology. Digital first person methods, he argued, enable us to access the perspective of actors in a way previously accessible only through introspection and phenomenology. Additionally, first person perspective digital ethnography enables social actors to alternate perspectives, allowing (for example) agents to reflect upon themselves as “others” engaged in a first person experience.

Dr. Monika Buscher (Lancaster University) demonstrated ways of mobilizing live data streams from social media and other forms of digital media in order to reconstruct the lived first person experience of actors in real world situations (e.g. responders to terrorist attacks). This capacity, she argued, has significant implications for how we may design, operate, and evaluate social service institutions, such as policing and health care.

Dr. Sabine Boesen-Mariani (Danone Research in France) highlighted the ability of first person perspective digital ethnographic methods to facilitate behavioural change and improved health outcomes in children. Using the Subcam, she documented water consumption patterns in households and formulated interventions on the basis of understanding garnered from accessing the lived experience of her research subjects.

Professor Saadi Lahlou (London School of Economics) demonstrated a variety of uses for Subcam technology, from understanding children’s creative processes to accessing consumer’s activity to stepping into the shoes of employees in organizational settings. Digital first person methods, he argued, allow researchers to more richly reconstruct both technical and mundane tasks, and allow subjects to revisit their behaviour in order to recount their behaviour, illuminating potential causal influences within an activity setting.

New questions

In discussion it was observed that introspection, as a method, had fallen out of favour in psychology due to the lack of objective data. FPPDE, it was argued, might create a resurgence of interest in the ‘stream of consciousness’ as people are engaged in situated activities because it provides objective data on the actors point of view, thus enabling a reconstruction of the actor’s thoughts.

In discussion there was also a debate about the extent to which first person perspective accounts can be reconciled with observer (i.e., third person perspective) accounts. It was pointed out that recent discussions about methodological triangulation have argued that methods do not necessarily converge on truth, and that each method might apprehend different aspects of a situation.

Overall, the following new questions were identified:

How do observer accounts of behaviour compare to actor recordings of behaviour?

In group activities, to what extent are the accounts of multiple actors congruent?

How can the method best be used to stimulate self-reflection?

How can multiple steams of data, from humans moving between contexts, be integrated?

Does viewing ones own first person perspective recordings lead to behaviour change?


Alex GIllespie

Dr. Alex Gillespie

London School of Economics (UK)


Lecturer at the Department of Social Psychology (LSE)

Integrating first and third person points of view


Monika Büscher

Dr. Monika Büscher


Lancaster University (UK)

Senior Lecturer

Director of Mobilities.Lab

How to 'follow the information'


Sabine Bosen-Mariani

Dr. Sabine Boesen-Mariani

Danone Research (France)

Sensory and Behaviour Science Manager

Modifying Polish Children's Unhealthy Drinking Patterns: Understanding the Impact of our Action Research


Saadi Lahlou

Prof. Saadi Lahlou

London School of Economics (UK)


Former director of the Department of Social Psychology (LSE)

Behaviour and activity: Accessing subjective experience





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