chapter  1
Outlining a psychology of the image
Pages 14

In contemporary culture images play a significant role in influencing our understanding of ourselves, those around us, and the environment we live in. Our everyday experiences ranging from the banal to the enriching are replete with images. Before leaving our homes in the morning we find ourselves checking to see whether we look right (i.e. displaying a good or at least an appropriate ‘self-image’). We decorate our houses with pictures, photographs and other images both for the pleasure they bring us and for what they ‘say’ about our lifestyle. When we hear a piece of music that captures our attention, we might talk of an image coming into our minds, and often when we are buying something we suspect that the decisions we make have been influenced by the images we have seen promoting that product. Hardly a day goes by without politicians, theologians and social commentators warning us of the dangers of image ‘over-exposure’, while all the time making sure their own images are presented in line with the appropriate conventions.