The soul of groups: eductive interpretation of rich pictures

Berg, Tessa; Bell, Simon and Morse, Stephen (2015). The soul of groups: eductive interpretation of rich pictures. In: 27th European Conference on Operational Research (EURO 2015), 13 Jul 2015, Glasgow.


The Rich Picture (RP) is a picture drawn by many hands and usually the product of many minds. RPs are used to identify and understand complex contexts – natural, social, cultural and technical. The RP provides an unstructured way of capturing information flows, communication and, in essence, human experience. Pictures can encapsulate meanings, associations and non-verbal communication. RPs are not rigid or formalised and therefore societal norms of religion, politics and culture can be licentiously considered without risk – providing the opportunity for “optimal indiscretion”. The RP purpose is to make a pre-analysis assessment which can offer insight, often through amalgamating contradictory multiple perceptions. Meaning derived from such pictures is often disputable. To date there has been little attempt to address RP interpretation. Due to lack of universal standards, the RP, as an artefact, is complex to interpret and, frankly this complexity can lead to inconclusive guesswork. This paper describes understanding the RP using eductive interpretation (EI). EI is a soft appraisal tool devised to aid RP analysis. The EI framework considers the suitable enablers to analyse RPs from a variety of differing perspectives, countries and communities. This paper provides an overview of a major forthcoming publication by the authors. 2015. Bell, S. Berg, T. and Morse, S. Rich Pictures: encouraging resilient communities. Taylor Francis, London.

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