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Micro-phenomenological interview training

Objective of the training


For the purpose of a research project, the course is aimed at mastering the micro-phenomenological interview, a method enabling the researcher to collect fine-grained descriptions of the lived experience associated with a given sensorial, emotional or cognitive process, or with a specific expertise, in order to gather a corpus of accurate data that are relevant for the research objective.



Content of the training


Epistemological context of Micro-phenomenology and sources of the interview method

Knowing the context in which Micro-phenomenology arises, including the enactive framework, and the sources of the method.

Recognizing the satellite dimensions of experience 

Knowing how to distinguish the descriptive elements from those that concern other levels of preoccupation (such as explanations and judgments), and piloting the interview in these different dimensions.


Guiding the evocation process

Guiding the interviewed persons from a general description towards the description of a singular experience, that is situated in space and time, and helping them to mobilize their concrete memory to evoke this experience.


Guiding the description of the diachronic and synchronic dimensions

Guiding the interviewed persons into the temporal fragmentation of the experience and the description of its cognitive, sensory, attentional and emotional dimensions.


Recognizing the clues of implicit information

Detecting verbal and non-verbal clues of implicit information in the interviewee's discourse and asking relevant questions.

Managing the relationship with the interviewee

Defining the framework and objective of the interview.

Knowing how to reformulate the interviewee's words.
Knowing how to create and maintain the conditions for good non-verbal communication with the interviewee.


Assessing the reliability of an interview

Evaluating the reliability of the descriptions provided by the interviewee according to criteria related to the interviewer's interventions and to the interviewee's answers. 

Elements of self-interview

Use the methodological techniques of the micro-phenomenological interview to explore one’s own experience.


Elements of analysis of the descriptions

Identifying the diachronic and synchronic structures of the experiences, and detecting possible regularities (generic structures). 




Claire Petitmengin, after studies in Buddhist philosophy and then ten years of consulting and research in information systems design, completed her PhD thesis under the direction of Francisco Varela at the Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, on the subject of the lived experience which accompanies the emergence of an intuition. She is currently Professor Emerita at the Institut Mines-Télécom and member of the Archives Husserl (Ecole Normale Supérieure) in Paris. Her research focuses on the usually unrecognized micro-dynamics of lived experience and micro-phenomenological methods enabling us to become aware of it and describe it. She studies the epistemological conditions of these methods, their educational, therapeutic, artistic and contemplative applications, and the philosophical consequences of these empirical investigations.

Camila Valenzuela Moguillansky, researcher at the Laboratorio de Fenomenología Corporal in Chile, PhD in Cognitive Sciences at the Pierre et Marie Curie University in Paris, Master of Cognitive Sciences at the Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris and BA in Biology The University of Chile. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Complex Systems of Valparaiso (ISCV) on the relationship between body awareness and pain in people with fibromyalgia. Camila is also a dancer and Ashtanga yoga teacher. Its scope of interest are the mechanisms underlying body awareness and the development of methodologies for the study of experience considering a dialogue between neuroscience, phenomenology and different artistic languages.

After studies in Philosophy and Knowledge Management in Paris, Anne Remillieux completed her PhD thesis under the direction of Claire Petitmengin and Jean-Louis Ermine (Telecom & Management Sud Paris) on the elicitation and modeling of pre-reflective experience for knowledge sharing (applied to change management in the National French Railways Company). Then she practiced micro-phenomenology in several postdoctoral research projects, which allowed her to study different kinds of cognitive processes (choice blindness, technical invention, pedestrian use of the smartphone), while taking an interest in the micro-phenomenological methodology, in particular in the reliability and the analysis of micro-phenomenological data.


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