What Is the Characteristics of Phenomenology Research?


Jane Flores

Phenomenology is a research methodology that aims to understand the subjective experiences of individuals. It focuses on the conscious experience of an individual as opposed to studying objective reality. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of phenomenology research.


One of the key characteristics of phenomenology research is intentionality. Intentionality refers to how consciousness is always directed towards something, whether it is an object, person, or idea. Phenomenological research seeks to understand how individuals experience this intentionality.


To gain a better understanding of intentionality, phenomenology researchers use a technique called epoche. Epoche involves setting aside any preconceived notions or assumptions about the subject being studied. This allows researchers to approach their study with an open mind and be more attuned to the experiences of the participants.


Another characteristic of phenomenology research is bracketing. Bracketing involves acknowledging and setting aside any biases or preconceptions that may influence the researcher’s interpretation of data. This ensures that the data collected is based purely on the participant’s experiences, rather than being influenced by external factors.

Phenomenological Reduction

Phenomenological reduction is another technique used in phenomenology research. It involves reducing complex experiences into their most basic components in order to gain a deeper understanding of them. This process enables researchers to analyze each component individually and then integrate them back together in order to better understand the whole experience.

Open-Ended Questions

Phenomenology research relies heavily on open-ended questions. These questions allow participants to share their experiences freely without being limited by predetermined answers or categories. This approach allows for a more comprehensive understanding of individual experiences.

Thick Descriptions

In order to accurately capture the essence of a participant’s experience, phenomenology researchers utilize thick descriptions. Thick descriptions are detailed accounts of a participant’s experience that go beyond surface-level observations. They incorporate specific details such as emotions, thoughts, and perceptions to create a rich and nuanced understanding of the experience.


In conclusion, phenomenology research is characterized by intentionality, epoche, bracketing, phenomenological reduction, open-ended questions, and thick descriptions. By utilizing these techniques and approaches, researchers are able to gain a deeper understanding of the subjective experiences of individuals. This methodology is particularly useful in fields such as psychology, sociology, and anthropology where understanding human experiences is crucial.