Narrative Psychology Vincent W. Hevern at Le Moyne College, explains: "narrative psychology" refers to a viewpoint or a stance within psychology which is interested in the "storied nature of human conduct" (Sarbin, 1986)--how human beings deal with experience by constructing stories and listening to the stories of others...human activity and experience are filled with "meaning" and that stories, rather than logical arguments or lawful formulations, are the vehicle by which that meaning is communicated. This extensive Internet and resource guide includes history and background, links to key theorists, methodology, a discussion of narrative in other disciplines and much more on this perspective.
Psychobiography This website, maintained by William Todd Schultz, Pacific University Oregon, describes psychobiography (the application of psychological theory and research to individual lives of historical importance), the influential people in the field, an annotated bibliography and lots more.
Assignments, Exercises, and Activities
Life Story When discussing intake interviews and psychotherapy, John Suler, Rider University, point[s] out that clients engage in a process of exploring their life story, usually at first by describing the most important "facts" about themselves. In this exercise, described on his Teaching Clinical Psychology website, students write down four important facts about themselves and one lie. Others in the class read each list and the class discusses patterns which they see.
Courtship Narratives The University of Texas PAIR Project, according to their website, is a long-term study of courtship and marriage that began in 1981 with 168 newlyweds. We collected information on the couples' courtships and early marital experiences, and followed couples across the years to their eventual relationship destinations. The site presents excerpts from the case studies of 7 couples who later divorced. The narratives are from their courtship period.
Current Researchers and Research Teams
The Foley Center for the Study of Lives is the research center for Dan McAdams and his colleagues. They describe the center as an interdisciplinary research project committed to studying psychological and social development in the adult years.
Examples and Illustrations
Tests, Measures, and Scales
Life Story Interview The Foley Center for the study of lives at Northwestern University maintains a collection of scales related to development and narrative across the life span. The Life Story Interview is one qualitative measure used by Dan McAdams and his research team.
Audio and Video
Women's Voices Good stories have always been the most powerful way to engage, inspire, and, over time, shape public dialogue around the values we believe in. That's why Creative Counsel and The Fledgling Fund are co-presenting the 1000 Voices Archive - a curated, national collection of video stories created by filmmakers and communities across the country. Women's video comments on a range of social issues can be used to start discussion or introduce gender issues.