Thursday, 21 June 2012

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) is an approach to psychological qualitative research with an idiographic focus, which means that it aims to offer insights into how a given person, in a given context, makes sense of a given phenomenon. Usually these phenomena relate to experiences of some personal significance - such as a major life event, or the development of an important relationship. It has its theoretical origins in phenonemology and hermeneutics, and key ideas from Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty are often cited.[1] IPA is one of several approaches to qualitative, phenomenological psychology Phenomenology (psychology). It is distinct from other approaches because of its combination of psychological, interpretative, and idiographic components.

 Sometimes IPA studies involve a close examination of the experiences and meaning-making activities of only one participant. Sometimes they may draw on the accounts of a small number of people (not usually more than 15[2]). In either case, participants are invited to take part precisely because they can offer the researcher some meaningful insight into the topic of the study; this is called purposive sampling [i.e. it is not randomised]. Usually, participants in an IPA study are expected to have certain experiences in common with one another: the small-scale nature of a basic IPA study shows how something is understood in a given context, and from a shared perspective, a method sometimes called homogeneous sampling. More advanced IPA study designs may draw together samples which offer multiple perspectives on a shared experience (husbands and wives, for example, or psychiatrists and patients); or they may collect accounts over a period of time, to develop a longitudinal analysis.

In IPA, a good analysis is one which balances phenomenological description with insightful interpretation, and which anchors these interpretations in the participants' accounts. It is also likely to maintain an idiographic focus (so that particular variations are not lost), and to keep a close focus on meaning (rather than say, causal relations). A degree of transparency (contextual detail about the sample, a clear account of process, adequate commentary on the data, key points illustrated by verbatim quotes) is also crucial to estimating the plausibility and transferability of an IPA study. Engagement with credibility issues (such as cross-validation, cooperative inquiry, independent audit, or triangulation) is also likely to increase the reader's confidence.

IPA has been used very widely in applied psychology (particularly relating to matters of physical and mental wellbeing).

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Ερμηνευτική Φαινομενολογική Ανάλυση, σύμφωνα με τη Βιωματική/Φαινομενολογική Ανάλυση.


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