News and events


Changing some of the terminology for analysis in IPA

While we have been working on the two new IPA books described below, we decided this was an opportunity to change some of the terminology used to describe analysis in order for the terminology to more clearly reflect what is being done. We are not changing the process just the terms used to describe the process. 

The main change is that what used to be described as emergent themes are now called experiential statements because we consider that this is a better term for this stage of the analytic process. The other change we are making is a clearer delineation of our use of the term theme in subsequent stages. A collection of related experiential statements now makes up a Personal Experiential Theme (PET). So, in old parlance, emergent themes were clustered to form superordinate themes. In new parlance, experiential statements are clustered to make Personal Experiential Themes.

 We have taken care to explain and demonstrate the new terminology to colleagues and students, and have been reassured that they understand and prefer it. If you are new to IPA or in the early stages of an IPA research project, we would advise you to use the new terminology. However, if your analysis is well under way, we think you can use either the old terminology or change to the new. It may be a good idea to discuss this with your supervisor/advisor. We realize that both sets of terms will be used, and that many researchers will also draw on methods papers and chapters outside of this text to develop their research plans.

Full details of the new terminology and worked examples of their use in practice are provided in both the new books:

Smith JA , & Nizza I (2021)  Essentials of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis Washington DC: APA. 

Smith JA, Flowers P, Larkin M (Jan 2022) Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. London: Sage (2nd ed-extensively revised)

Information There is now an IPA listing on Google Scholar profiles. if you are currently using IPA, and particularly if you have some publications, please consider adding interpretative phenomenological analysis to your Google Scholar profile to help further enhance the IPA community.




9 December APA Virtual salon: “What’s the Difference? A Conversation Comparing Approaches to Qualitative Analysis.” 

ORGANIZER: Ruthellen Josselson
PRESENTERS: Virginia Braun, Phil Hammack, Heidi Levitt, Jonathan Smith, Fred Wertz

This event is set up for discussion of similarities and differences across different methods but it may be of interest to some IPA researchers


Past events

16 July        Jonathan Smith, Invited speaker at BPS qualitative section webinar  Title of talk: "Travelling through time: using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to examine temporal process in personal experience"

Sept           Interview with Jonathan Smith In the Psychologist  (You might be interested in reading this)

28- 30 September    Introductory and advanced training workshops in IPA by Jonathan Smith (online)  Organized by The Qualitative Report, Nova Southeastern University, Florida, USA.  ** Registration is now open for the introductory workshop and there are places.      **THESE WORKSHOPS ARE NOW FULL**

Friday 22nd October  There will be a launch webinar for the new IPA  book [Smith JA , & Nizza I (2021)  Essentials of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis at 12 Noon Eastern USA time/ 5pm UK time. Click here for further details and to register:   This book is a short basic introduction to IPA in an APA  series on qualitatitative methods.