HomePhilippine Journal of Psychologyvol. 42 no. 1 (2009)

The Phenomenology of Obsession

Kristine Gemmie Choa | Rosalind Espiritu | Melody Anne Wong

Discipline: Psychology



Studies on obsession have shown inconsistent findings and often have no ecological validity (Purdon & Clark, 2000). This study addressed these problems through a phenomenological approach. In-depth interviews were conducted with ten participants who had experienced obsession. Meaning units from the interviews were assigned textural descriptions. The themes that emerged from the analysis included positive feelings such as happiness and excitement when the object of obsession was present; negative feelings such as sadness and frustration when the object of obsession was absent; and a sense of control over the object of obsession. The essence of obsession was found to be the experience of the individual wanting to temporarily lose control.