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

Katrin Heimann, Hanne Bess Boelsbjerg, Chris Allen, Martijn van Beek, Christian Suhr, Annika Lübbert, Claire Petitmengin

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


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 arti- cle, 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 plan- ning, 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 appli- cation 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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
Pages (from-to)217-245
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023


  • Micro-phenomenology
  • cognitive science
  • phenomenology
  • first person method
  • second person method
  • subjective experience
  • relationality
  • interview quality


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