The descriptive experience sampling method

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 5 (3-4):271-301 (2006)
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Abstract

Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES) is a method for exploring inner experience. DES subjects carry a random beeper in natural environments; when the beep sounds, they capture their inner experience, jot down notes about it, and report it to an investigator in a subsequent expositional interview. DES is a fundamentally idiographic method, describing faithfully the pristine inner experiences of persons. Subsequently, DES can be used in a nomothetic way to describe the characteristics of groups of people who share some common characteristic. This paper describes DES and compares it to Petitmengin’s [Phenomenol Cogn Sci, this issue] second-person interview method.

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