The Experience of Participating in DES

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thesis / dissertation description
The Descriptive Experience Sampling method (DES, Hurlburt, 1990, 1993) is designed to help researchers collect and describe participants’ inner experience in a way that minimizes the impact of the participant’s presuppositions and the researcher’s worldview on the description of participants’ inner experience. This study was an exploratory examination of the potential therapeutic effects of DES. It used three sources of data: pre and post-DES SCL-90-R questionnaires, observation of the process that unfolded during DES interviews, and a post-DES exit interview. Participants (n = 14) were drawn from the Psychology 101 Subject Pool. After five days of DES, there was a statistically significant improvement in reported psychological symptoms with a moderate effect size . Participant engagement was associated with symptom improvement. These findings suggest the desirability of further research into the potential ameliorative effects of DES.