Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 229–269

Describing one’s subjective experience in the second person: An interview method for the science of consciousness


DOI: 10.1007/s11097-006-9022-2

Cite this article as:
Petitmengin, C. Phenom Cogn Sci (2006) 5: 229. doi:10.1007/s11097-006-9022-2


This article presents an interview method which enables us to bring a person, who may not even have been trained, to become aware of his or her subjective experience, and describe it with great precision. It is focused on the difficulties of becoming aware of one’s subjective experience and describing it, and on the processes used by this interview technique to overcome each of these difficulties. The article ends with a discussion of the criteria governing the validity of the descriptions obtained, and then with a brief review of the functions of these descriptions.

Key words

subjective experience pre-reflective experience pre-reflexive experience consciousness second person first person interview method phenomenology 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.GET/INT and CREAEvryFrance

Personalised recommendations