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IPA and Science: A Response to Jonathan Smith

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image of Journal of Phenomenological Psychology

Abstract This article is a response to Jonathan Smith’s attempted rebuttal to the accusations I had made that Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis’s (IPA’s) methodical procedures did not meet generally accepted scientific criteria. Each of Smith’s defenses was carefully examined and found to be lacking. IPA’s claim to have roots in contemporary phenomenological philosophy was found to be seriously deficient and its claim that it has a basis in hermeneutics was superficial. IPA’s hesitation to proclaim fixed methods makes the possibility of replication of IPA studies impossible and thus it makes the fulfillment of an important scientific criterion impossible. Its claim that its findings are subjective fails to meet the important scientific criterion of objectivity or even intersubjectivity. Consequently, the claims that I made in my original article were basically sustained and repeated.

Affiliations: 1: Saybrook University; 2: Saybrook University


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