What Is Phenomenology Methodology?


Diego Sanchez

Phenomenology methodology is a philosophical approach that seeks to understand the essence of human experiences. The methodology was first developed by the German philosopher Edmund Husserl in the early 20th century. Phenomenology methodology is used widely in social sciences, psychology, and even healthcare.

What is Phenomenology?

Phenomenology is a study of subjective experiences and how people perceive and interpret the world around them. It focuses on how people experience things, rather than the things themselves. Phenomenology involves exploring and describing subjective experiences as they are lived.

The Basic Tenets of Phenomenology Methodology

Phenomenology methodology has several basic tenets that guide its approach to research:


Bracketing is a process of setting aside preconceived ideas or biases about a particular phenomenon being studied. This process allows researchers to focus on the phenomenon itself, rather than their own assumptions about it.


Intentionality refers to the idea that consciousness is always directed at something – that there is always an object or thing that consciousness is aware of. This means that human perception is always intentional and purposeful.

Eidetic Reduction

Eidetic reduction involves focusing on the essential or defining characteristics of a phenomenon. This process helps researchers to identify what makes a particular experience unique from others.

How Does Phenomenology Methodology Work?

Phenomenology methodology involves several steps, including:

1. Identifying Research Questions

Researchers using phenomenological methodology begin by identifying specific research questions related to subjective experiences.

2. Recruiting Participants

Participants are recruited based on their experience of the phenomenon being studied. Researchers may use criteria such as age, gender, or occupation to recruit participants who have relevant experiences.

3. Conducting Interviews

Researchers conduct in-depth interviews with participants about their experiences. These interviews are designed to elicit rich descriptions of the phenomenon being studied.

4. Analyzing Data

Data analysis involves identifying patterns and themes in the data collected through interviews. Researchers use a process called phenomenological reduction to distill the essence of the experiences being studied.

5. Writing About Findings

Finally, researchers write about their findings, describing the essential characteristics of the phenomenon being studied and how it is experienced by individuals.

Applications of Phenomenology Methodology

Phenomenology methodology has been used in a wide range of fields, including psychology, sociology, healthcare, and education. It has been used to study topics such as:

  • The experience of chronic illness
  • The experience of childbirth
  • The experience of grief
  • The experience of spiritual awakening
  • The experience of living with a disability


Phenomenology methodology is an important approach to research that emphasizes understanding subjective experiences as they are lived by individuals. It involves a rigorous process of data collection and analysis that allows researchers to identify the essential characteristics of a particular phenomenon. Phenomenology methodology has been used to study a wide range of topics across many fields, and continues to be an important approach for understanding human experiences.