The Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA): A Guide to a Good Qualitative Research Approach

Abayomi Alase

Abstract


As a research methodology, qualitative research method infuses an added advantage to the exploratory capability that researchers need to explore and investigate their research studies. Qualitative methodology allows researchers to advance and apply their interpersonal and subjectivity skills to their research exploratory processes. However, in a study with an interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) approach, the advantageous elements of the study quadruple because of the bonding relationship that the approach allows for the researchers to develop with their research participants. Furthermore, as a qualitative research approach, IPA gives researchers the best opportunity to understand the innermost deliberation of the ‘lived experiences’ of research participants. As an approach that is ‘participant-oriented’, interpretative phenomenological analysis approach allows the interviewees (research participants) to express themselves and their ‘lived experience’ stories the way they see fit without any distortion and/or prosecution. Therefore, utilizing the IPA approach in a qualitative research study reiterates the fact that its main objective and essence are to explore the ‘lived experiences’ of the research participants and allow them to narrate the research findings through their ‘lived experiences’. As such, this paper discusses the historical background of phenomenology as both a theory and a qualitative research approach, an approach that has transitioned into an interpretative analytical tradition. Furthermore, as a resource tool to novice qualitative researchers, this paper provides a step-by-step comprehensive guide to help prepare and equip researchers with ways to utilize and apply the IPA approach in their qualitative research studies.  More importantly, this paper also provides an advanced in-depth analysis and usability application for the IPA approach in a qualitatively conducted research study. As such, this paper completely contrasted itself from many books and articles that are written with the premise of providing useful and in-depth information on the subject-matter (phenomenology, as a qualitative approach).


Keywords


Interpretative phenomenology analysis, IPA, qualitative research method approach

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijels.v.5n.2p.9

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