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Interpretative phenomenological analysis - introduction

Slides for an introductory session on IPA, with thanks to Virginia Eatough, Jonathan Smith and Rachel Shaw for some shared material.

Michael Larkin

on 3 July 2013

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Transcript of Interpretative phenomenological analysis - introduction

Aims of session:

Introduce IPA – what is it?
Situate IPA in relation to key influences
Situate IPA in relation to other approaches to qualitative research
Introduce key kinds of questions and designs for IPA studies
Outline basic process and outcome of IPA work
First, a bit of context ...
Making sense of experience.
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA; Smith, 1996) provides a stance and process for qualitative data analysis.

IPA is a meaning-focused, qualitative method, which is committed to understanding the first-person perspective from the third-person position, so far as is possible, through intersubjective inquiry and analysis.

IPA offers an established, systematic, and phenomenologically-focused approach to the interpretation of first-person accounts, which is committed to situating personal meaning in context.
Our everyday functioning relies on a form of naïve realism. But our approach to formal knowledge-construction should be more considered.

For the most part, mainstream psychology draws upon a realist framework (i.e. empiricism) - but with a certain pragmatic caution about ‘error’ and the adequacy of our measures.

Empiricism is realist: we really percieve a real external world [objective].
Social constructionism is relativist: we construct a world through language, meaning and social practice [subjective].
What is IPA?
Qualitative research
Phenomenology operates in a complex position somewhere in between the two: we percieve the world through our engagement in it, and its meaning is a function of our relationship to it [intersubjective].
Epistemologically, phenomenology can be seen as an earlier, personalised variant of SC - it is concerned with how people make sense of their own experiences – ‘the meaning of what happens to me.’
What is phenomenology?
... the philosophical study of ‘Being’ and/or experience.

... difficult to characterise as a single entity – like an ongoing conversation, rather than a single statement. A way of seeing and a movement (Moran & Mooney, 2002)

... often understood to have two important phases, the Descriptive-Transcendental and the Hermeneutic-Existential
... one unifying feature of the various approaches to phenomenological inquiry realm may be their shared dissatisfaction with natural science models’ attempts to produce detached or objective views of the world – what Glendinning (2007) sees as an attempt to take a ‘sideways’ or ‘dehumanised’ view of the world.
‘An attempt to bring philosophy back from abstract metaphysical speculation wrapped up in pseudo-problems, in order to come into contact with the matters themselves, with concrete lived experience.’ (Moran, 2000, xiii)

Hence .. ‘Back to the things themselves!’ (Husserl)
‘Phenomenology means literally the science of phenomena, the science which studies appearances, and specifically the structure of appearing – the how of appearing – giving the phenomena of manifest appearances their due, remaining loyal to the modes of appearance of things in the world ..’ (Moran & Mooney, 2002, p.5).
The Descriptive - Transcendental phase
Intentionality (from Brentano); Experience-consciousness link;

Gap in empiricism: “Husserl saw science as a second-order knowledge system, which depends ultimately upon first-order personal experience. For Husserl, an extensive and rigorous phenomenological account of the world as it is experienced would be an essential precursor to any further scientific account.” (Smith, Flowers & Larkin, 2009).

Husserl particularly interested in finding a means by which someone might come to accurately know their own experience of a given phenomenon,

Husserl separates that which is experienced (the ‘what’, noema) and the manner in which it is experienced (the ‘how’, noesis).
Trying to develop a method with the rigour and depth necessary to reduce our understanding of experience back to its core , abstract, essential structures (to transcend the personal and contextual).

Husserl reasoned that the essential features of an experience would transcend the particular circumstances of their appearance, and might then illuminate a given experience for others.

His phenomenology is about identifying and suspending our assumptions (‘bracketing’ off culture, context, history, et - suspension of the natural attitude through epoché or bracketing) then 'eidetic [imaginative free] variation' in order to get at the universal essence of a given phenomenon as it presents itself to consciousness (i.e. aims to transcend our everyday assumptions)

Essence: “that which makes a thing what it is (and without which it would not be what it is.” (van Manen, 2003, p. 177)
What is it like in the sun?
In the shade?
What is the essential 'treeness' of the tree?
The Hermeneutic- Existential phase
Hermeneutics - the study, theory and practice of interpretation.

Heidegger’s hermeneutic phenomenology: a fusion of Dilthey’s hermeneutics [key distinction between understanding and explanation] and Husserl’s descriptive phenomenology.

“We might characterise Husserl as primarily concerned with what can be broadly classified as individual psychological processes, such as perception, awareness, and consciousness. In contrast, Heidegger is more concerned with the ontological question of existence itself, and with the practical activities and relationships which we are caught up in, and through which the world appears to us, and is made meaningful.” (Smith, Flowers & Larkin, 2009).

“The practice of science is itself hermeneutical. That is, scientists make interpretations, and their interpretations are biased in a very productive way by the scientific tradition to which they belong, and the specific kinds of questions that they ask. Explanation is no less interpretation than understanding.” (Gallagher, 2004)
Heidegger & Merleau-Ponty each suggest that we can never make Husserl’s reduction, because our observations are always made from a position of our own; therefore the best we can manage is an interpretation (hence hermeneutics).

The question of the meaning of Being; Being-in-the world (Dasein); for Heidegger persons (Dasein - ‘there-being’) are ‘thrown’ into the world. By this he means that we are always already engaged and involved in the world, and in relationships with other people. We can not step into an objective realm, ‘outside’ of the world; person and world are mutually-constitutive.

For MP, “Our own body is in the world as the heart is in the organism; it keeps the visible spectacle constantly alive, it breathes life into it and sustains it inwardly, and with it forms a system.”

The strong emphasis on the worldliness (Heidegger) and the embodied nature (Merleau-Ponty) of our being are what gives us the term ‘existential.’
Perspective, context, interpretation -
these are important ...
• An understanding of the world requires an understanding of experience.

• In order to engage with other people’s experience, as researchers or practitioners, we need to be able to identify and reflect upon our own experiences, preconceptions and assumptions.

• We also need to be able engage with, and attend very carefully to, the personal accounts of other people.

• We do not access experience directly from these accounts, but through a process of intersubjective meaning-making. We make meaning with them. These accounts reveal to us something about a particular person’s relationship to a given phenomenon, in a given context, and accessed at a given time.

• We therefore need to take an idiographic approach to our work, in order to facilitate a detailed focus on the particular.

• A person is an embodied, meaning-making being, ‘always-already’ immersed in a linguistic, cultural and physical world; their experiences are interpreted in the context of ongoing personal and social relationships, of which the researcher forms a part.

• We cannot escape the interpretative aspects at any stage of our endeavours, but we can reflect upon our role in producing these interpretations, and we can maintain a commitment to ground them always in our participants’ claims and concerns.
Reduction - not a reducing down, but a leading back – to the phenomenon we are interested in.

Aspects of Husserlian ‘reduction’ –

the reflexive move towards understanding our own experience, which involves shifting from the natural attitude (our everyday assumptions about how things are) to the phenomenological attitude (a more focused approach to understanding things as we experience them);

the suspension of the ‘natural attitude’ through bracketing (identifying and then setting aside) one’s own fore-understanding; the process of examining the experience itself;

a process of ‘eidetic’ abstraction, identifying essential properties.
Care and concern – what matters to us.

Intentionality – our directedness towards the world.

“In phenomenological terms, experience or consciousness is always consciousness of something - seeing is seeing of something, remembering is remembering of something, judging is judging of something. That something - the object of which we are conscious - may have been stimulated by perception of a ‘real’ object in the world, or through an act of memory or imagination. Thus, there is an intentional relationship between the car and my awareness of it.

Note that the term intentionality is being used in a different way to its everyday meaning in English. If I say that my memory has an intentional relation to a car, I mean that my memory is oriented towards the car; that is, I am remembering it. I do not mean that I am mentally striving for the car to come into existence.” (Smith et al., 2009).
Thrown-ness – our inevitable, inextricable involvement in the world of things, language, and culture.

Intersubjectivity – the shared, overlapping, and relational nature of our engagement in the world – what Shutz called a ‘reciprocity of perspectives,’ where individual actors are able to approximate each others’ conscious worlds via a shared framework of meaning (e.g. a culture); thus meaning is made between subjects, not within them. [Also see Symbolic Interactionism].
Key concepts in phenomenology
The hermeneutic circle
... a convenient shorthand for something more complex .

... what we are actually interested in is understanding a person’s relatedness to the world, through the meanings that they make.

… theoretically?

“The beating heart of phenomenology as a living philosophy ... lies in the attempt consistently to rid us of the idea that a view of the phenomena from sideways on makes sense.” (Glendinning, 2007, p. 19).

This neglect has led Spinelli (1989) to claim that psychology has lost its metaphorical ‘soul’ and its original purpose (p.184). He argues that if the aim of psychology is to understand human beings, then its starting point has to be the study of experience.

… practically?

“In a bizarre echo of 1950’s behaviourism, subjectivity itself is excluded from social constructionism. Because the subjective experience of being a person is not visible in language, however much it might be structured by it, it simply disappears. There are no mental states, only talk about them. There are no subjective experiences, only accounts or representations of subjective experiences. And there are no pains, no passions, no feelings - only goal-directed emotion-talk produced in discourse to help participants to achieve their ends. The notion that life as lived under existing social conditions is not all that it could be is central to critical thought.” (Cromby, 1997, p.6).
What is experience?
Care and concern
Dasein / Being-in-the-world – phrases which capture what we are, given this directedness, involvement, and relatedness – person and world are mutually-constitutive. Mitsein - personhood is a being-with.

The body-subject – ‘The body discloses the world for us in a certain way. It is the transcendental condition for the possibility of experiencing objects at all, our means of communication with the world.’ (Moran, 2000, p. 425).

Lifeworld – ‘This is the realm of immediate human experience,’ (Halling & Carroll, 1999, p.98).
Dasein / mitsein / Being-in-the-world
The body subject
Why care?
Part 1
Implications for psychology
A human science approach:

“Human science studies “persons” or beings that have “consciousness” and that “ act purposefully” in and on the world by creating objects of “meaning” that are “expressions” of how human being exist in the world.” (van Manen, 2003).
Phenomenological psychology
Some definitions considered by Van Manen (1990) -
The study of lived experience
The explication of phenomena as they present themselves to consciousness
The study of essences
The description of experiential meanings as we live them
The systematic, explicit, self-critical, intersubjective study of human phenomena
The attentive practice of thoughtfulness
A search for what it means to be human
A poetizing activity
Descriptive / 'empirical'

Rooted in Husserlian phenomenology; origins in the 'Dutch School'

Championed by Giorgi; see also Todres; Ashworth

Concrete description of experience (written protocol)

Emphasis on abstracting an essential structure
Interpretative / hermeneutic

Draws more on Heidegger

Meanings of life world - e.g. embodiment, temporality, spatiality, sociality, discourse, project, selfhood (Ashworth, 2003)

Versions by Van Manen (hermeneutic phenomenology) 1990; and by Smith (IPA) 1996

Interpretation of patterns in the ways that people make sense of their experiences
Experiential Qualitative Psychologies

The underlying epistemological position of these approaches is that:

‘What is real is not dependent on us (i.e. there is a real world ‘out there’), but the exact meaning of that reality is.’

Meaning is thus of fundamental importance here, because for phenomenologists, consciousness “makes possible the world as such, not in the sense that it makes possible the existence of the world, but in the sense that it makes possible a significant world.” (Drummond, 2007, p. 61).
So, phenomenological psychology asks 'what is x like?' and focuses upon “the meanings that subjects with their acts of consciousness bestow on the referents” (Giorgi, 1995, p. 36).

But there is also an experimental paradigm …
Phenomenological psychologies
We choose ‘an experience’ of some existential import.

We aim to get ‘experience-close’ rather than directly to experience per se.

We focus on the meaning of the experience (event, process, relationship) to the participant.

We remember that participant and researcher are both interpreting – ‘double hermeneutic.’

We prioritise each case as a case, & then consider convergence and divergence across our data set.
IPA: our focus
Experience matters

Detailed, interpretative, phenomenology gives us a framework for examining this

It also gives us a radical view of personhood
“Qualitative researchers tend to be concerned with meaning. That is, they are interested in how people make sense of the world and how they experience events. They aim to understand ‘what it is like’ to experience particular conditions [..] and how people manage certain situations [..] Qualitative researchers tend, therefore, to be concerned with the quality and texture of experience, rather than with the identification of cause-effect relationships [..] The object of qualitative research is to describe and possibly explain events and experiences, but never to predict. Qualitative researchers study people in their own territory, within naturally occurring settings [..] These are ‘open systems’ where conditions continuously develop and interact with one another to give rise to a process of ongoing change.” (Willig, 2000, p. 9).
What matters to us?
How might we describe our relationship to the things, people, events and processes that matter to us?
What does it mean to experience this, or that?
Who are we?
How might things be otherwise?
When we talk about experience in IPA research, we are talking about ‘something that matters to the participant’ and something of which they have some understanding - - we seek to understand their perspective on it.
IPA usually requires:
First-person accounts
Verbatim record
Rich data [reflective, detailed narratives]

IPA benefits from:
Small sample size
Personal accounts (e.g. interview or diary data)
Additional contextual data (get to know your participants and their contexts)
Articulate / forthcoming participants
Design and planning
Single cases
Multiple perspectival / systemic designs
Longitudinal designs
Mixed methods
Triangulation of data collection (Incorporating focus groups, photographic elicitation, diaries, observations etc.)
Participatory involvement

[Not usually recommended for a first study]
Bolder designs
Data collection style:
Open questions, flexible structure
Invite description, narration
Suspend or defer rationalisation, evaluation
Come at research question ‘sideways’

IPA may cope with:
Observational data
Focus groups
Less articulate / forthcoming participants

IPA may be less appropriate for:
Data from media sources
Large sample sizes
Structured ‘small q’ data
Visual material
Data collection events
Prioritises a focus on the particular (rather than the general/universal).

Understand the case as a case, in its context.

Not 'either/or' but 'both/and' – idiographic-nomothetic approach (Harré, 1979).
The study, theory and practice of interpretation:

Understanding = core of human existence; cyclical process.
Language = means through which we get to understanding.
Negotiated understanding (through conversation) reveals the “things themselves.”
Preparing a project
Take time to think
Take time to consult
Purposive – identify and recruit participants who can offer you a meaningful perspective on the phenomenon of interest.

Homogeneous - as far as possible; inevitably there will be variation; identify the variation that matters (e.g. if the phenomenon is childbirth, things like gender, and relationship status will be important) and try to keep that constant. The idea is that participants are chosen because they offer you insights from a position of shared expertise.

Small n – this may vary according to the kind of data you have, but with a typically articulate and engaged adult participant, providing interview data, 3-6 participants are likely to keep you very busy!

Consider expanding the range / depth of data that you will get, rather than the number of participants, if you have time (or are under pressure) to do more. E.g. interview twice, or solicit diaries or other material.

The question is not ‘how many participants do I need?’ – but ‘are these data adequate to the task?’ i.e. Are they rich enough?
Formulating research questions
So, Carol, what does it mean to be a person with large ear-rings?
What do you mean 'what does it mean?' Isn't it your job to figure that out?
The aims and research questions in IPA tend to focus upon persons’ experiences and/or understandings of particular phenomena in particular contexts.

Other common focal points for IPA researchers are the perceptions and views of participants (i.e. as alternatives to ‘understandings’).

What is it like to be a recovering addict within a self-help 12-step program?
How do people receiving support from an Early Intervention Service make sense of their experiences of auditory hallucination?
How is the experience of dialysis understood in the context of impending transplantation?

Top tip: set yourself some clear objectives, so that you know when you are finished!
Research questions
Research process
Theoretical context
What is a suitable research question for an IPA project?

open not closed
exploratory not explanatory (e.g. ‘explore’, ‘investigate’)
focus on meaning and sense-making
grounded in an appropriate epistemological position (usually suggested by focus on experiences, and/or understandings in a particular context)
answerable, and worth answering
Don’t underestimate the importance of this last one!

Personal commitment is often a positive advantage …
IPA can be characterised by a set of common:

- processes (moving from the particular to the shared, and from the phenomenological to the interpretative)

- principles (a commitment to understanding of the participant’s point of view, and a psychological focus on personal meaning-making in particular contexts)

.. which are applied flexibly, according to the analytic task (see Reid, Flowers & Larkin, 2005).
- this takes an iterative and inductive form (Smith, 2007)
Data analysis in IPA
'Methods' in qualitative research are not like recipes or protocols.

They provide a stance - a way of thinking about the data - and a direction of travel.
Your aim

When you interpret qualitative data, you aim to develop an organised, detailed, plausible, and transparent account of the meaning of the data.

Your objectives

To achieve your aim, it may help to keep two long-term objectives in mind:

Firstly, you need to identify patterns in the data, and eventually to draw these together in to some kind of structure (this might be a table, or a hierarchy, like a family tree, or it might be circular).

Secondly, you need to produce a narrative account of this structure for the analysis section of your report.
To reach these objectives, you need to produce a detailed and systematic reading of the data, and to organise and evidence that reading through some sort of structure.

In IPA, the reading is systemised via 'coding' of the data - i.e. making detailed notes on the transcript, asking phenomenological questions of the data and identifying objects of experiential interest.

The structure us typically thematic, where a 'theme' captures a pattern of meaning with your coding of the data.
Looking ahead
Developing a bottom-up account
Coding your data

i. Reflection on one’s own preconceptions and processes (e.g. see Smith, 2007) – and ‘free’ or ‘open’ coding.

This is partly about getting your initial ideas down – and partly about identifying and bracketing off your preconceptions.

Allow yourself to be 'wrong.'

Talk through examples of free coding in supervision (and keep an analytic diary).

ii. The close, line-by-line analysis (i.e. coding) of the experiential claims, concerns, and understandings of each participant – ‘phenomenological’ or ‘descriptive’ coding (e.g. see Larkin, Watts & Clifton, 2006).

- Try to identify:

things that matter to the participant [objects of concern - events, relationships, concepts, processes etc].
the meaning of those things, for the participant [experiential claims].
ways in which you might characterise the participant's stance in relation to these things [disposition / positionality].

- Discuss and evaluate this early coding in supervision – develop rigour and focus.
- Sharpen and sustain your focus - easy to wander off course here (stay focused on the experiential claims and concerns of the participant), and easy to be insufficiently detailed.

- This work can appear to be self-evident to begin with … but rarely is!

- Allow time to think, and time to consult with others ... or it will drive you to distraction!
Good lord! We thought you were dead! Where have you been?
I was doing my analysis. What year is it?
Make use of supervision and peer support

iii. The identification of the emergent patterns and commonalities (i.e. themes) within this experiential material (e.g. see Eatough & Smith, 2008), perhaps first for single cases, and then subsequently across multiple cases.

iv. The development of a ‘dialogue’ between the researchers, their coded data, and their psychological knowledge, about what it might mean for participants to have these concerns, in this context (e.g. see Larkin, Watts & Clifton, 2006; Smith, 2004), leading in turn to the development of a more interpretative account.

- Shifting to ‘interpretative coding’ – be creative; go back to the data, and ask questions of it.

- Reflection, imagery, metaphor, genre – all good topics for discussion in supervision.
Find your own way to organise your work, and to keep track of the process

v. The development of a structure (often, but not necessarily, hierarchical) which illustrates the relationships between themes.

vi. The organisation of all of this material in a format which allows for coded data to be traced right through the analysis - from initial codes on the transcript, through initial clustering and thematic development, into the final structure of themes.

vii. The use of supervision, collaboration, audit, or other processes of triangulation and credibility checking, to test and develop the coherence and plausibility of the interpretation.

viii. The development of a narrative, evidenced by detailed commentary on data extracts, which takes the reader through this interpretation, usually in a theme-by-theme structure, and often supported by some form of visual guide (a simple structure, diagram or table).
You need a concentrated block of time and space for this part of the analysis
Example: ANALYSIS B - phenomenological coding
Example: ANALYSIS C - interpretative coding
Example: ANALYSIS D - developing a structure
Interpretative strategies illustrated here:
Cumulative within transcripts
Integrative across transcripts
Focused / interrogative coding [language-use, in this case]
Analogous / metaphorical thinking
Dialogue with theory

Interpretative coding might ask:

What patterns are there? What conflicts are there?

Why is it interesting that your participant expresses the claims and concerns that they do, and in the way that they do?

What images do they employ? Which words have caught your attention? What kinds of metaphors (or stories, or other devices) are used? What do they tell us?

What do you need to know more about? How could you find it out? Go back to the data and explore any new avenues systematically.

Interpretative coding should refer back to the core experiential accounts (the products of more ‘descriptive’ coding), in order to identify concerns and conflicts, but it need not be entirely constrained by them. The analysts’ role in IPA does require the generation of an ‘insider’s account,’ but it also requires that meaning and commonality are sought beyond that point.
This can be a very creative and rewarding part of the process
What is it like?
A complex process:
intense … and conceptually-demanding.
Evaluating and writing
Transferability and transparency
Reader needs to know about the context, the population, and the process:

Transparent account of process
Rich description of data
Contextualised description of participants
Interpretations clearly sourced
Reflexive level of analysis
The researcher needs to be aware of the concepts, values and preconceptions which they bring to process of analysis.

Effectively, the researcher functions as a channel or filter through which the experiences are conducted - and constructed.

Some account of this side of the process should be included in your analysis. It helps to write in the active voice and the first person.

Note that:

Achieving this ‘awareness’ does not automatically make the research more ‘accurate’ – any more than adequate closure makes a quantitative study more ‘valid.’

Aim is to be open, relevant and integrative, when presenting and evaluating one’s work.
Quality issues in IPA research
Collecting appropriate data, from appropriately selected informants
Some degree of idiographic focus (attention to the particular) balanced against 'what is shared'

An analysis which:

transcends the structure of the data collection method
focuses on 'how things are understood', rather than on 'what happened'
incorporates and balances phenomenological detail (where appropriate) and interpretative work (where appropriate) to develop a psychologically-relevant account of the participants' 'engagement-in-the-world.'

Appropriate use of triangulation (can be via methods, perspectives, data, analysts, fieldwork), or audit and/or credibility-checking (can be via respondents, supervisors, peers, parallel sample) to achieve trustworthiness
Appropriate use of extracts and commentary to achieve transparency [claims should usually be referenced to data; data should not usually be left to 'speak for itself']

Appropriate level of contextual detail

Attention to process; including both analytic & reflexive, relational components

Appropriate pitch and engagement with theory (in making sense of the analysis)

Engagement with other IPA work and/or phenomenological theory

Appropriate understanding and implementation of transferability issues

Larkin & Thompson (in press) and see Smith (2011).
Preparing to write
Identifying a suitable narrative structure
Tracing decisions & revealing their impact
Committing butchery
Maintaining transparency
Balancing voices, and levels of analysis (shared-distinct & phenomenological-interpretative)
Incorporating reflexivity

Top tip: find examples of studies you like, and look at how they are written.
Audit and credibility-checking
Top tip: Do something, not Everything. Engage in one thing with a reflective purpose, rather than lots of things with a corrective purpose …

Test the claims and limits of the analytic structure:
Is the account coherent and plausible?
Are the analytic claims persuasively-evidenced?
What could be clearer?
Is the analyst able to see and reflect upon alternative versions?
Are any theoretically-informed inferences handled appropriately cautiously?
Does it make sense?
Does it answer the research question?
Is the analysis sufficiently interpretative?
Can the interpretative account be seen to develop from a phenomenological core?
Is the structure clear and meaningful?
Evaluating the emerging analysis
Phenomenological coding might ask:

What experiences are being described and claimed by the participant?

What are the key features of those experiences for the participant?

What do those experiences and topics appear to mean to the participant?

How would you characterise their stance in relation to these events/processes/topics?
Smith, J.A., Flowers, P., Larkin, M. (2009). Interpretative phenomenological analysis. London: Sage.

Coyle, A. & Lyons, E. (Eds.) (2007). Analysing Qualitative Data in Psychology: A Practical & Comparative Guide. London: Sage.

Langdridge, D. (2007). Phenomenological Psychology. Harlow: Pearson.

Smith, J.A (Ed.) (2008, 2nd Ed.) Qualitative Psychology: A Practical Guide to Research Methods. London: Sage.

Willig, C (2008, 2nd Ed.) Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology. London: Sage.
Useful books
Useful chapters and papers
Eatough, V. & Smith, J.A. (2008). Interpretative phenomenological analysis. In C Willig and W Stainton Rogers (Eds.), Handbook of Qualitative Psychology. London: Sage.

Larkin, M., Watts, S., Clifton, E. (2006). Giving voice and making sense in Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Qualitative Research in Psychology 3:2, 102-120.

Larkin, M., Eatough, V. & Osborn, M. (2011, in press). Interpretative phenomenological analysis and embodied, active, situated cognition. Theory & Psychology, DOI: 10.1177/0959354310377544.

Reid, K., Flowers, P. & Larkin, M. (2005) Exploring lived experience: An introduction to Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The Psychologist, 18:1, p. 20-23.

Smith, J.A. (2004) Reflecting on the development of interpretative phenomenological analysis and its contribution to qualitative research in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 1, 39-54.

Larkin, M. & Thompson, A.R (2011) Interpretative phenomenological analysis. In Harper, D. & Thompson, A.R. (Eds.) Qualitative Research Methods in Mental Health and Psychotherapy. Oxford: Wiley.

Smith, J.A. (2011). Evaluating the contribution of interpretative phenomenological analysis. Health Psychology Review, 5:1, 9-27. See also replies and response, same issue.
IPA website: www.psyc.bbk.ac.uk/ipa/

IPA tumblr page: http://ipacommunity.tumblr.com/ [includes link to this presentation]

IPA news group: ipanalysis on yahoogroups; @ipanalysis on twitter

IPA local groups: see www.psyc.bbk.ac.uk/ipa/ for other groups near you.
Useful online resources
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Michael Larkin, Aston University.
What does it mean to be afraid?
'How do people do 'being angry'?' might be better here.
Transcript analysis exercise

: initial impressions and curiosities.
identify 'chunks,' sequences, narratives.
Objects of concern
: what matters to the respondent?
Experiential claims:
what meanings do these things have for the participant?
how would you describe the participant's relationship to the topic under discussion? The mood? Tone?
how does the world look from the person's point-of-view?
what questions do you have to ask of the data, which still need answering?
what are the main patterns of meaning in the data-as-coded?
Building the emerging themes
Full transcript