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Phenomenological Design: Definition, Advantages & Limitations

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  • 0:05 Qualitative Research
  • 1:17 Phenomenological Design
  • 2:57 Strengths & Limitations
  • 4:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Boyd

Natalie is a teacher and holds an MA in English Education and is in progress on her PhD in psychology.

Some researchers are interested in how humans experience certain phenomena. In this lesson, we'll look at one way to study the universal experience of phenomena through phenomenological research and its strengths and limitations.

Qualitative Research

Ethan is a psychologist who is interested in studying how families of autistic children cope with the difficult news that their child has autism. Do they feel angry? Scared? Do they turn to family for support or to medical professionals? Do they seek out parents of other autistic children to help them through it?

Obviously, Ethan has a lot of good questions about how parents cope when they find out that their child has autism. In order to answer those questions, he has to decide what research method he's going to use. There are a couple of different research methods. One common type of research is qualitative research, which looks in-depth at non-numerical data.

For example, if Ethan interviews parents of autistic children, he'll have notes and transcripts of his interviews. How does he run statistical analysis on those? The answer is that he can't because it is non-numerical data. He's chosen to do qualitative research. Let's look closer at one type of qualitative research- phenomenological research - and its strengths and limitations.

Phenomenological Design

Ethan knows that he wants to do qualitative research. He thinks that interviewing is the best way to go as far as his research study is concerned. So he decides to interview a bunch of parents of autistic kids. He's interested in how they coped with the news that their child had autism.

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