Phenomenological: Qualitative Research and Research Methodology

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Chapter 4: Research methodology


Phenomenology is the science that studies truth. It stands back from our rational involvement with things and marvels at the fact that there is disclosure, that things do appear, that the world can be understood and that we in our life thinking serve as datives for the manifestation of things Sokolowski (2000, p. 185)



4.1.1. Introduction

In psychology research, few quantitative studies have definitively demonstrated the complexities involved in the process of psychotherapeutic change. Many researchers in the field are critical of existing quantitative research methods and argue that, in controlling and
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Thus the object being studied is acknowledged as possessing the same consciousness as the researcher. The analysis of the phenomenon thus needs to be different to the analysis of a natural object. He suggests that concepts such as “forces” and “motivations unfolding over time” are more appropriate for describing human relationships in research.

Chapter 4: Research methodology


Scientific thinking is defined as a way of approaching knowledge that is systematic, methodical and critical as well as general (Giorgi, 1995). Giorgi posits that phenomenology, whilst embracing these aspects of scientific thinking, emphasises the fact of knowledge as correlated with consciousness and a phenomenon. He asserts that phenomenology makes thematic, consciousness, and all of the objects, events and processes that come to awareness by means of this consciousness. In thematising consciousness in this way, he sees scientific understandings as being opened up to allow for a more precise comprehension of psychological subject matter.

Qualitative inquiry strives to achieve an understanding of how people co-construct their life-world as meaningful. Not only do humans possess consciousness, but this consciousness is also a creative participant in the relationship between people and their experience of the world. People are creative co-contributors to their life-world, and ‘reality’ is co-constructed between people. The term ‘co-construct’ refers to the way people
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