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Critical Analysis Eliot Et Al

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Student’s Name: Sharissa Refaay

Student’s Enrolment Number: H00256004

Course Title:  Research Methods and Analysis 4

Course Code: C98RT

Title of Coursework:  Critical Evaluation of Eatough, V. & Smith, J. (2006) Study

Lecturer: Lucy Bolton


PLAGIARISM means using another person’s work (including other students) without giving credit, and this is strictly forbidden. Please enter an ‘X’ in the box below to acknowledge that you have read and understood the University’s plagiarism guidelines:


I declare that I have read and understood the University’s plagiarism guidelines, and that my coursework (unless specifically cited otherwise) is all my own work[pic 2]

Student Name: Sharissa Refaay

Student ID: H00256004

Course Title: Research Methods and Analysis 4

Course Code: C98RT

Word Count: 1700

‘Critical evaluation of Eatough, V. & Smith, J. (2006). ‘I was like a wild, wild person’: Understanding feelings of anger using interpretative phenomenological analysis. British Journal of Psychology, 97, 483-498, using guidelines developed by Elliot et al (1999)’


Purpose: This review is assessing an IPA article (Eatough and Smith, 2006) concerning how the mental state of anger and emotion related occurrences such as ‘thoughts, feelings and expressions’ are presented to the person experiencing this mental state of anger. The guidelines proposed by Elliot et al. (1999) will be used to evaluate the article presented.

Method: Eatough, V. and Smith, J., (2006) conducted an interpretative phenomenological analysis on an individual named ‘Marilyn’. The first author carried out two semi-structured interviews throughout an extent of three weeks (4 hours of data) at Marilyn’s home which was then coded to stay objective.

Results: Marilyn’s anger adhered to a normal order of events in the context of her intimate interpersonal relationships; the distinguishable characteristics that coincided with the anger events were emotional intensity and escalation. Due to supressing the anger, feelings of hopelessness and powerlessness often occurred. Marilyn’s anger is presented as images of ‘boiling heat, rage and the colour red’.  The participant feels as if her anger is ‘transformative’. Marilyn’s thoughts feelings and actions seem to be independent from Marilyn and function separately (Dissociative episodes).

Conclusion: The study puts into attention the experience of the person in the body. The phenomenological view addresses the dimension, proposing that body change is important in defining what anger feels like. An individual’s body is important in establishing meaning of their emotion and having the ability to convey that emotion to others. The study provides an insight to anger in ways that are not possible with standard questionnaire measures. The authors believe that qualitative approaches such as IPA (used in this case study) can produce valuable contributions in further comprehending the ‘what it’s like’ factor.

Seven of the guidelines proposed by Elliot et al (1999) were met: Situating the sample, owning one’s perspective, grounding in examples, coherence, credibility checks, General vs. specific tasks and resonating with the reader.


In the past five years alone, there has been an impressive increase in the use of qualitative research in the field of psychology. The intention of qualitative research is to understand the experiences and behaviour of individuals as they ‘encounter, engage and live’ throughout their lives (Elliot, 1995). Despite this, qualitative research has used the guidelines for quantitative research for a long time for critical evaluation subjecting it to unfair appraisal. For this instance, Elliot et al. (1999) developed guidelines to help accommodate qualitative research.

 The guidelines were presented to serve four functions that are of importance: firstly, the existence of suitable guidelines are present to legitimize qualitative research. Secondly, using guidelines can lead to more valid scientific reviews of qualitative research. This is because researchers often make the mistake of evaluating qualitative research using the principles of quantitative research. Moreover, individuals who are not aware of the qualitative methods could be unsuccessful in applying appropriate criteria that is essential for qualitative research. Thirdly, the guidelines encourage superior quality control through better self and peer monitoring by examining their research more reflectively at the design and writing stages. Fourth, the guidelines are present in hopes to inspire individuals to come up with modern innovative approaches to meeting each set of regulation to build new ideas and adapt (Elliot et al., 1999).

Elliot et al. (1999) acquired and developed seven guidelines so that a reviewer can evaluate qualitative research. This set of qualitative guidelines will be used to evaluate this Interpretative phenomenological analysis article as part of qualitative research.

The first guideline introduced was ‘owning one’s perspective’. It involves the researchers attempting to recognize their values interests and assumptions to predetermine their personal expectations and theoretical standpoint allowing readers to clarify the information. The second guideline introduced was ‘situating the sample’. It involves the researchers describing the research participants and their life to assist the reader in deciding what individuals and circumstances the discoveries can be correlated with. The third guideline introduced was ‘Grounding in examples’. It presents the researchers the opportunity to fill in the gap between the researcher’s data and their analysis of said data. This allows readers to conceptualize other explanations and insight of the data.  Another guideline presented was ‘providing credibility checks’ where researcher use various methods for checking the credibility of their work (Example: using several qualitative analysts). Moreover, ‘coherence’ is the understanding is well-suited together and is presented as a ‘data-based story’ or framework for the phenomenon. ‘Accomplishing general vs. specific research tasks’ means that ‘accomplishing general’ information should be based on a sufficient number of individuals and limitations on applications should be known, ‘specific understanding’ should be accomplished through sufficient amount of information on very few or one individual. ‘Resonating with reader’ encourages the reader to feel as if they have been accurately represented in the article and in some way broadened their knowledge.



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