Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) is an idiographic approach to qualitative research. It is widely used in psychologically-informed studies which aim to understand the meaning and context of specific experiences. In this paper, we provide some background and introduction to the principles and processes underpinning IPA research. We extend this via a practical example, reporting on selected analyses from a study which explores the phenomenology and meaning of loneliness, through interviews conducted with a group of religious women. Through our observations on the complex role of absence for loneliness, we show that IPA can be a powerful tool for exploring and understanding the meaning of salient experiences. We reflect on the significance of the results for advancing theories of loneliness; and on the capacity of the IPA approach to provide researchers with an important and useful phenomenological perspective, through its emphasis on context, and its commitment to integrating convergent and divergent claims.
|Journal||Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences|
|Early online date||13 Jun 2022|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 13 Jun 2022|