The lived experience of remembering a ‘good’ interview: Micro-phenomenology applied to itself

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 22 (1):217-245 (2022)
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Abstract

Micro-phenomenology is an interview and analysis method for investigating subjective experience. As a research tool, it provides detailed descriptions of brief moments of any type of subjective experience and offers techniques for systematically comparing them. In this article, we use an auto-ethnographic approach to present and explore the method. The reader is invited to observe a dialogue between two authors that illustrates and comments on the planning, conducting and analysis of a pilot series of five micro-phenomenological interviews. All these interviews asked experienced researchers of micro-phenomenology to browse their memories to identify one successful and one challenging instance of working with micro-phenomenology. The interview then focused on this reflective task to investigate whether applying the method to itself might reveal quality criteria. The article starts by presenting a shortened and edited version of the first of these interviews. Keeping the dialogue format, we then outline the micro-phenomenological analysis procedure by demonstrating its application to part of this data and corresponding passages of other interviews. We focus on one unexpected finding: interviewed researchers judge the quality of an interview in part based on a connection or contact between interviewer and interviewee. We discuss these results in the context of the means and intentions of the method and suggest avenues for future research.

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