There any many ways that qualitative data can be analyzed to generate findings; however, there are some analysis plans that are specific to certain qualitative research designs. For phenomenology, the major data analysis plan would be the Modified Van Kaam approach that was popularized by Moustakas. There are a couple of key steps to this analysis plan that make it unique, the first being the amount of detail required for the analysis. There are several steps that require the qualitative researcher to step outside of himself or herself through bracketing and imaginative variation to look at the data in unique ways. Below is a brief outline of the various steps required of the Modified Van Kaam analysis. Note that the steps outlined below apply to individual interviews, meaning that each interview is treated as its own dataset. For example, if you have ten participants, you will perform steps 1 through 6 for each participant.
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It is very common for the results section of a Modified Van Kaam analysis to be over a hundred pages. Despite the long page length, it is crucial to maintain the integrity of your participants voices, which is why it is often selected as the most appropriate data analysis plan for phenomenological research studies. It provides a rich understanding of participants’ lived experiences of the phenomenon without altering their narrative, experiences, and stories. It allows qualitative researchers to deeply explore the participants’ lived experiences in order to understand the essence of the phenomenon through the voices of those who lived it.