Tag Archives: phenomenology

Let’s Talk Phenomenological Research Design & Ideas for My Research Proposal ~

~~ PART 1 ~~

Right away, specifically the first line of this research article, “A Phenomenological Research Design Illustrated” by Thomas Groenewald, I instantly could agree, and can personally relate too, “Novice researchers are often overwhelmed by the plethora of research methodologies, making the selection of an appropriate research design for a particular study difficult (Groenewald, 42). I feel the weight of this line right now as I’m midst collecting sources and research on the topic concerning unconscious and conscious states and creativity. There are several underlying subfields I can tie into this topic, like suppressed childhood emotional trauma, and how such experiences impact the cognitive function of generating creative ideas. However, if I were to analyze the impact of “suppressed childhood trauma” on the conscious and unconscious functionating of generating and selecting creative ideas, this research inquiry question would involve more discomfort on behalf of the subjects, and would not be considered a “minimal risk” research study  

So, I continued to think on my central research topic idea (the human conscious levels & creativity). I re-arranged some of my inquiry questions so that they direct an understanding toward the creative writing processes or artistic-creative processes of college students who actively engage in a form of art-expression. Perhaps, my research subjects could be students from Kean University who actively practice and participate in some form of art expression, which could be writing, painting, drawing, crocheting, singing, or playing an instrument, creating pottery, or taking photos.

I would then maybe design survey questions and open-ended response questions that would essentially verbally walk me through their creative mental processes and how they prepare to connect with such cognitive states. I would have to spend a lot of time making sure that my survey questions are appropriately geared toward questioning the research phenomena I wish to understand. I would then do a deep analysis on the recorded answers to understand their cognitive creative processes and how their creative mental states impact their overall well-being or mental health (or how they feel about themselves after engaging in their form of art expression). I’ve also considered, perhaps, implementing an in-person observation, where I would observe my selected subjects in action while they compose or create their chosen form of art. I would have to pre-prepare specific categories to keep an eye out for during my in-person observations like their facial gestures, body language, the number of times paused for deeper thought and consideration, and their overall focus and attention span. I’ve gathered around 8 research articles (and conducted studies) on my topic of inquiry.

My research inquiry question went from  “How do unconscious thinking processes impact or directly affect the formation or selection of creative and innovative ideas and thoughts?”  to, “How does the unconscious processing of childhood trauma influence cognitive creative functioning and the emergence of creative ideas in adulthood?”  to then,“How does the unconscious creative processes of college students impact their overall mental health and wellbeing?”

I realized that studying internalized, suppressed trauma will be exceedingly difficult.  However, I’m still interested in how unconscious mind states or how unconscious processes impact the quality of creativity, and the generation of such ideas. For example, when I’m stressed because of arthritic pains or personal family issues, I find it much harder for me as a writer to locate ideas and search within for some sign of motivation or inspiration. So, with that established reality, my inquiry question now stands at: “How do unconscious thinking processes among college students at Kean University influence their cognitive creative functioning and the emergence of creative ideas in early adulthood? As a result, how do the unconscious creative processes of college students impact their overall mental health and wellbeing?”

Humans are creative beings filled with endless potential and curiosity. However, when confronted with the realities of life (etc., work, school, chores, personal responsibilities), the endless opportunity for creativity becomes very much limited. Hence, why I would love to investigate this research topic to understand the diversity in unconscious creative processes, and in hopes to find remedies or ways in which to help creative individuals re-connect with their form of art expression when under stress or any environmental turmoil.

~~ PART 2 ~~

Alrighty, a lot has already been said and if you’re still reading this blog post, you are super dope  I’m going to now direct my attention to this week’s selected research article, A Phenomenological Research Design Illustrated” by Thomas Groenewald. First off, I appreciate how this research article’s aim is to educated novice researchers (like us) about the phenomenology method approach to research design and implementation. One of the main reasonings to why Groenewald conducted a research design that essentially functions as a researcher’s guide on conducting phenomenological research was because “[he even] experienced major difficulty in finding literature that provides guidelines on conducting phenomenological research” (43). So, technically, Groenewald’s research serves to fill the missing gap in literature regarding research teaching and learning practices on research methodology.

Phenomenology is a qualitative research approach that seeks to understand and describe the experiential, lived aspects of a particular phenomenon more deeply. It is evident that phenomenology seeks to understand beyond the external factors involved in a particular phenomenon, as Edmund Husserl (1859 – 1938) argued, “that people can be certain about how things appear in, or present themselves to, their consciousness” (Groenewald, 43). Interestingly enough, “To arrive at certainty, anything outside immediate experience must be ignored, and in this way the external world is reduced to the contents of personal consciousness. Realities are thus treated as pure ‘phenomena’ and the only absolute data from where to begin” (Groenewald, 43). I’ve noticed some similarities or connections between my research topic inquiry question, and the contents that make up Husserl’s philosophical method, or phenomenology. My topic question aims to analyze a conscious-subjective experience unique to one’s thinking patterns and forms of self-expression; therefore, perhaps, I could possibly use phenomenology as my chosen research method.

I’m resisting the urge to add more to this blog post, but I’d love to hear some feedback or advice on my research question & if ya’ll think I’m headed in the right direction. I feel like I’m blindly leading myself through all this research, and ahhh – I just don’t know . . .

**Link attached to image**

Xoxo,

Francesca Di Fabio 🙂