Abstract: My objective in this paper is to reflect critically on Max van Manen’s Researching Lived Experience (1990) and Clark Moustakas’ Phenomenological Research Methods (1994) from the standpoint of Amedeo Giorgi’s phenomenological psychological method. Moustakas grasp of the central tenets of Husserl’s phenomenology is interrogated, including his representation of what the psychological and transcendental realms signify for Husserl’s phenomenology. Van Manen’s presentation is questioned as it appears to leave unclarified important differences between hermeneutic and descriptive phenomenology with the result being a variety of epistemological inconsistencies in the research approach as presented.
Method Chapter: This document is the methodology chapter from Broomé’s 2011 doctoral dissertation outlining the Descriptive Phenomenological Psychological Method of research as taught by Amedeo P. Giorgi. Giorgi (2009) based his method on Husserl’s descriptive phenomenological philosophy as an alternative epistemology for human science research. This method section references Giorgi’s work and the phenomenological tradition of Husserl, Merleau-Ponty and others. Each step of Giorgi’s (2009) modified Husserlian method is described and explained in the context of doing psychological research on the lived-experience of the participants in the dissertation research. The steps are: (1) assume the phenomenological attitude, (2) read entire written account for a sense of the whole, (3) delineate meaning units, (4) transform the meaning units into psychologically sensitive statements of their lived-meanings, and (5) synthesize a general psychological structure of the experience base on the constituents of the experience. It is the first-person psychological perspective that is sought so that an empathetic position can be adopted by the end-user of the research.
Abstract: Part of teaching the descriptive phenomenological psychological method is to assist students in grasping their previously unrecognized assumptions regarding the meaning of “science.” This paper is intended to address a variety of assumptions that are encountered when introducing students to the descriptive phenomenological psychological method pioneered by Giorgi. These assumptions are: 1) That the meaning of “science” is exhausted by empirical science, and therefore qualitative research, even if termed “human science,” is more akin to literature or art than methodical, scientific inquiry; 2) That as a primarily aesthetic, poetic enterprise human scientific psychology need not attempt to achieve a degree of rigor and epistemological clarity analogous (while not equivalent) to that pursued by natural scientists; 3) That “objectivity” is a concept belonging to natural science, and therefore human science ought not to strive for objectivity because this would require “objectivizing” the human being; 4) That qualitative research must always adopt an “interpretive” approach, description being seen as merely a mode of interpretation. These assumptions are responded to from a perspective drawing primarily upon Husserl and Merleau-Ponty, but also upon Eagleton’s analysis of aestheticism.
Abstract: In this article, interviewing from a descriptive, phenomenological, human scientific perspective is examined. Methodological issues are raised in relation to evaluative criteria as well as reflective matters that concern the phenomenological researcher.The data collection issues covered are 1) the selection of participants, 2) the number of participants in a study, 3) the interviewer and the questions, and 4) data collection procedures.Certain conclusions were drawn indicating that phenomenological research methods cannot be evaluated on the basis of an empiricist theory of science, but must be critiqued from within a phenomenological theory of science. Some reflective matters, experienced by the phenomenological researcher, are also elaborated upon. -Published in the Journal of Phenomenological Psychology
Abstract: Police officers must be able to make an accurate appraisal of a lethal encounter and respond with appropriate force to mitigate the threat to their own lives and to the lives of others. Contemporary police deadly force training places the cadet in mock lethal encounters, which are designed to simulate those occurring in the real lives of law enforcement officers. This Reality Base Training (RBT) is designed to provide cadets with experiences that require their reactions to be within the law, policies and procedures, and ethics while undergoing a very stressful, emotional, and physically dynamic situation (Artwohl & Christensen, 1997; Blum, 2000; Grossman, 1996; Miller, 2008; Murray, 2006). Three police cadets provided writ- ten accounts of their deadly force training experiences in the RBT format. The descriptive phenomenological psychological method was used to analyze the data and to synthesize a general psychological structure of their experiences. The results reveal the perceptions, thoughts, feelings and behaviors reflecting the role of con- sciousness and psychological subjectivity in the participants’ understandings and decision-making in the simulated situations. -Published in the Journal of Phenomenological Psychology
Abstract: Over the course of the last fifty years Amedeo Giorgi has played a leading role in the movement to redirect psychological research from an imitation of the natural sciences toward a human science paradigm. He founded the first phenomenological psychological research program in the United Stated at Duquesne University, and continued his development of phenomenological psychology at Saybrook Graduate School. Giorgi’s descriptive phenomenological method is a rigorous approach to qualitative research that is founded in the philosophical phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. The descriptive phenomenological method makes use of the phenomenological epoché, reduction, imaginative variation, and search for essential psychological structures. Giorgi’s approach to conveying phenomenology embodies a wide-ranging and incisive critique of empirical psychology’s limitations, and seeks to establish scientific criteria appropriate for the study of lived, human subjectivity. -published in the journal NeuroQuantology
Abstract: Dans les premières pages d’Introduction à la phénoménologie, Patočka définit la phénoménologie comme « une réflexion parallèle sur le sens autant des choses que de la vie humaine » : réflexion qui nécessite une science rigoureuse, ainsi qu’une vision de la science dans sa « signification fondamentale pour la vie. » D’une telle manière Patočka accomplit un double geste : d’un côté, il formule d’une manière explicite son idée de la phénoménologie ; de l’autre, il pose les termes d’un questionnement tout à fait crucial concernant les rapports entre éthique et phénoménologie. Il s’agira notamment pour nous de ramener à la source ce questionnement implicitement formulé par Patočka. La science phénoménologique est-elle compréhensible sans le support de l’éthique ? –published in the journal Etudes Phénoménologiques
Abstract: Within the Husserlian phenomenological philosophical tradition, description and interpretation coexist. Teaching the practice of phenomenological psychological research, however, requires careful articulation of the differences between a descriptive and an interpretive relationship to what is given in qualitative data. If as researchers we neglect the epistemological foundations of our work, or avoid working through difficult methodological issues, our work invites dismissal as inadequate science, undermining the effort to strongly establish psychology along qualitative lines. The first article in this two-part discussion is a Husserlian investigation of the meaning of “method” for psychology as a human science. This investigation is undertaken in the light of some researchers’ appropriations of Gadamer’s philosophical hermeneutics in the service of non-methodical praxes. The second article will address some implications of the attempt to structure qualitative psychological research along “Gadamerian” lines, taking seriously the references to Gadamer’s work made by researchers such as van Manen and Smith. -published in The Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology
Abstract: Husserl formula le sue ricerche fenomenologiche come risposta al momento storico in cui vive(va), un periodo di crisi di civiltà in cui “lo scetticismo–sosteneva–si stava diffondendo, minacciando in generale di screditare il grande progetto di una scienza rigorosa”. Per Husserl (1970) questo scetticismo rappresentava un collasso della fede nella “ragione”, intesa allo stesso modo in cui gli antichi opponevano l’episteme alla doxa: ad essere in gioco, per Husserl, era la fiducia della società nella capacita degli esseri umani di dare significato alla vita individuale e pubblica attraverso il ragionamento (p. 13). La fenomenologia era destinata a combattere la dilagante visione secondo la quale “la ragione non ha più niente da dire rispetto alle scottanti questioni sudi chi e che cosa siamo” (Dodd, 2004, p. 47). Quello di Husserl fu un tentativo di ridare vita all’originale significato di “scienza”, che sosteneva essere stato ampiamente dimenticato o oscurato dalle scienze naturali. Quasi un secolo dopo, i seguaci dell’approccio husserliano alla ricerca psicologica fenomenologica iniziata da Amedeo Giorgi (1970, 2009) incontrano una difficoltà simile. Lavorando con gli studenti ci si imbatte spesso in un atteggiamento di scetticismo, espresso in affermazioni come “tutta la conoscenza é interpretazione”, oppure ogni pretesa di verità riguardo a dei dati é “solo la tua interpretazione”; o ancora, l’affermazione che nella ricerca qualitativa “non esiste qualcosa come la conoscenza oggettiva” perché “stiamo studiando esseri umani e non oggetti”, o la tesi per cui “la ricerca qualitativa é come la scrittura creativa: bisogna che tu sia un buon scrittore, quasi un poeta per poter trasmettere l’esperienza umana, non uno scienziato”. -published in Encyclopaideia: Rivista di Fenomenologia Pedagogia Formazione