Phenomenological Research is a kind of qualitative research.
It’s a qualitative research.
- It describes the meaning for several individuals of their lived experiences of a concept or phenomenon.
- Phenomenologists focus on describing what all participants have in common as they experience a phenomenon.
- The purpose of phenomenology is to reduce individual experiences with a phenomenon to a description of a universal essence (grasp of a very nature of the thing) (van Manen, 1990).
- This human experience may be phenomena such as insomnia, being left out, anger, grief, etc.
- The researcher then collects data from people who have experienced the phenomena, and develops a composite description of the essence of the experience for all of the individuals. This description consists of ‘what’ they experienced and ‘how’ they experienced it (Moustakas, 1994).
- Researchers first turn to a phenomenon that seriously interests them. They reflect on essential themes, what constitutes the nature of the lived experience. They write a description of the phenomenon, maintaining a strong relation to the topic of inquiry and balancing the parts of the writing to the whole. Then the researcher tries to interpret the lived experience or phenomenon.
- Moustakas’s (1994) transcendental or psychological phenomenology is focused less on the interpretations of the researcher and more on a description of the experiences of the participants. Transcendental means: everything is perceived freshly as if for the first time.
- The type of problem should be one in which it is important to understand several individuals’ common or shared experiences of a phenomenon.
- These lived experiences and phenomena are conscious and directed toward an object.
- In a psychological or transcendental phenomenology, the researcher must bracket out his own experiences.
- Data are collected from the individuals who have experienced the phenomenon.
- Data collection is usually done through in-depth interview or multiple interview with the participants.
- Observations, journals, art, poetry may also be used to collect data.
- The participants are asked two broad and general questions: (1) what have you experienced in terms of the phenomenon? And (2) What contexts and situations have typically influenced or affected your experiences of the phenomenon?
- Building on the data from the first and second research questions, data analysts go through the data and highlight ‘significant statement’ sentences or quotes that provide an understanding of how the participants experienced the phenomenon. Moustakas (1994) calls this stage “horizonalization’. Next the researcher develops clusters of meaning from these significant statements into themes.
- The significant statements or themes are then used to write a description (not interpretation) of what the participants experienced (textural descriptions). They are also used to write a description of the context or setting that influenced how the participants experienced the phenomenon (imaginative variation or structural description).
- From the structural or textural descriptions, the researcher then writes a composite description that presents the ‘essence’ of the phenomenon called ‘the essential or invariant structure or essence). This passage focuses on the common experiences of the participants. It is a descriptive passage, a long paragraph or two and the reader should come away from the phenomenology with the feeling.