Qualitative methodological issues in studying First-Person Perspective

Between phenomenological method and cognitive science
  • Denis FrancesconiEmail author
Part of the Phänomenologische Erziehungswissenschaft book series (PHE, volume 3)


The encounter of Phenomenology and Embodied Cognition Theory has produced a huge debate in contemporary human and social sciences. This debate includes also a discussion on methodological issues, in particular on two topics: the use of first-person data in cognitive science; the use of phenomenological approach in neuroscience (neurophenomenology). The study of consciousness and subjective dimension of human experience has almost never been part of the research agenda of cognitive sciences before the 1990s. However, nowadays, first-person data constitute a remarkable part of scientific research in this field and many others; subjective reports, indeed, are at the base of some experimental studies and of the ‘big data’ approach. In social sciences in general, and in education certainly, we can count on a well-established research tradition built on the phenomenological method, which is probably the most well-known and reliable qualitative method in studying consciousness. In this paper, I will discuss recent methodological proposals and issues arising from the encounter of phenomenology and cognitive sciences, specifically the use of DES method – Descriptive Experience Sampling – and Snapshot method to study in-vivo subjective experiences.


phenomenological method Descriptive Experience Sampling (DES) snapshot method qualitative methods first-person perspective embodiment cognitive science 


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of VeronaVeronaItalien

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