Phenomenology Research Approach: An Insightful Guide

Phenomenology is a research approach that focuses on the subjective experiences of individuals. This approach seeks to understand the essence of a phenomenon by exploring the lived experiences of people who have encountered it. In this article, we will explore what phenomenology is, its history, key concepts, and how it is used in research.

History of Phenomenology

Phenomenology was first introduced by Edmund Husserl in the early 20th century. Husserl was interested in exploring the essence of consciousness and how it relates to the world around us. He believed that by examining subjective experiences, we could gain a deeper understanding of reality.

Husserl’s work was later expanded upon by other philosophers such as Martin Heidegger and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Today, phenomenology continues to be an influential approach in fields such as psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

Key Concepts

At its core, phenomenology is concerned with understanding subjective experiences. To do this, researchers must set aside their own biases and preconceived notions and focus solely on the experiences being described.

One key concept in phenomenology is epoché or “bracketing.” This involves setting aside any assumptions or judgments about a phenomenon and focusing solely on the description provided by participants.

Another important concept in phenomenology is intentionality. This refers to the idea that consciousness is always directed towards something – whether it be an object, emotion, or idea.

How Phenomenology Is Used in Research

Phenomenology can be used in a variety of research settings. For example, it can be used to explore how individuals experience chronic pain or how they cope with grief after losing a loved one.

In order to conduct phenomenological research, researchers typically use one-on-one interviews to gather data. These interviews are open-ended and allow participants to describe their experiences in their own words.

Once the data has been collected, researchers analyze it by identifying common themes and patterns. From there, they can develop a deeper understanding of the essence of the phenomenon being studied.


Phenomenology is a powerful research approach that allows us to gain a deeper understanding of subjective experiences. By setting aside our own biases and focusing solely on the experiences being described, we can develop a more nuanced understanding of reality.

If you are interested in conducting phenomenological research, it is important to familiarize yourself with key concepts like epoché and intentionality. With these tools in hand, you will be well-equipped to explore the essence of any phenomenon that interests you.