Accepted Paper:

Bio-sensing in research on the city-psychosis nexus: theoretical and methodological challenges of a mixed-method approach  

Author:

Marc Winz (University of Neuchâtel)

Paper short abstract:

This paper discusses opportunities and limits offered by a mixed-methodological approach - combining physiological data through the monitoring of skin conductance and qualitative data¬ - for studying how people diagnosed with schizophrenia experience urban environments.

Paper long abstract:

In recent years non-invasive portable physiological monitoring devices have been made commercially available, allowing to collect physiological data in situ, therefore opening new ways of conducting research in the field. Biosensing - a generic term for a variety of physiological measures - has been advanced as "offering the potential to explore participants' reaction at an embodied level, beyond the subjectivity of self-reporting" (Osborne and Jones, 2017, p. 160). According to Myin-Germeys et al. (2009), daily life experience has been a black box within research on psychopathology and it is time to open it. With urbanicity - as labelled within psychiatry - identified as of crucial importance in the etiology of psychosis (Vassos et al., 2012: 1118), my paper first discusses the relevance of a mixed methodological approach, combining physiological data through the monitoring of skin conductance and qualitative data¬, for studying how people diagnosed with schizophrenia experience urban environments. Secondly, the article suggests a conceptual framework in coherence with those new methodologies. Finally, these new methodological tools come along with a series of interrogations; here the paper discusses the way physiological and qualitative data may be arranged in order to produce a more fine-grained understanding of the urban experience of people diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Myin-Germeys, I. et al. 2009. Experience sampling research in psychopathology: opening the black box of daily life. Psychological medicine, Vol. 39, No. 9, p. 1533-1547.

Vassos, E. et al., 2012. Meta-analysis of the association of urbanicity with schizophrenia. Schizophrenia Bulletin, Vol. 38, No. 6, p. 1118-1123.

Panel C04
Productive frictions: co-laboration and confluence in the work of new alliances