Biography in science can be very similar to those biographies we might pick up in book shops. Biography tells the life (or a period of life) of another person using a whole range of materials. For example, interviews with the person or others who knew them, archival materials, their publications, videos, recording of meeting, transcripts etc.
The aim of a biography is to describe in detail the life, narratives, activities and perspectives of someone as accurately as possible. Biographical approaches can be used in conjuncture with other methods such as oral histories, systematic reviews, annals and archival research. Biographical approaches are often linked with historical approaches due to the nature of telling someone’s past.
The use of biography has been in Psychology since its emergence and was very popular in Victorian Britain. Many biographies have been written about the ‘great man’ of history. More recently feminist approaches have attempted to re-place women back into the history and this is sometimes done using biographies of prominent women.