Visual images as a data capture instrument: Understanding the true meaning
World Business Institute
School of Business
Pictures provide a richness to the data set that compliments the textual findings of interviews, observation or other methods of data capture. However, on the negative side, pictures as signs are icons which are themselves prone to deception. False signs occur when the inter-relationship between language and extra linguistic signs deceive others and oneself. Visual representations tend to be more invasive, are arduous for participants to conduct and may tend to skew findings when the content provided by participants is determined by photo choice. Within the context of reliability and validity this paper explores the pitfalls of using visual representation alone and proposes guidelines for using visual representation in the research process, particularly as a source of validation or triangulation.