JONATHAN SMITH

JONATHAN SMITH

JONATHAN SMITH

Birbeck University

My research has involved the development of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) as a particular experiential qualitative approach in psychology and its application to a range of areas in health, social and clinical psychology. IPA is phenomenological in that it attempts to understand the lived experience of participants and how participants make sense of those experiences but it emphasises that this involves a process of interpretation by the researcher. IPA also has an idiographic commitment to the detailed study of each individual case.

IPA usually involves the systematic qualitative analysis of transcripts of semi-structured interviews conducted with participants. The main themes in my research have been: life transitions and identity; psycho-social aspects of genetics; family and health.

I run the IPA@BBK research group comprised of staff, postdocs and PhD students. We have fortnightly research meetings to exchange ideas, read papers and analyse data.