Doing descriptive phenomenological data collection in sport psychology research

Lisa O'Halloran, Martin Littlewood, David Richardson, David Tod, Mark Nesti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Researchers in the field of sport psychology have begun to highlight the potential of phenomenological approaches in recognizing subjective experience and the essential structure of experience. Despite this, phenomenology has been used inconsistently in the sport psychology literature thus far. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to provide theoretically informed practical guidelines for researchers who wish to employ the descriptive phenomenological interview in their studies. The recommended guidelines will be supported by underpinning theory and brief personal accounts. An argument will also be presented for the potential that descriptive phenomenology holds in creating new knowledge through rich description. In doing so, it is hoped that this method will be utilized appropriately in future sport psychology research to not only strengthen and diversify the existing literature, but also the knowledge of practitioners working within the applied world of professional sport.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)302-313
Number of pages12
JournalSport in Society: Special issue: Research Methodologies in Sport Scholarship
Issue number2
Early online date21 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2018


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