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The researcher was absorbed in literature, poetry, music, motion pictures, photographs, journal writings, dialogues with self and others, and art work that drew the investigator closer to the topic of dispiritedness and revealed its multiple meanings.
Following the logic of intensity sampling, the researcher sought rich examples of dispiritedness in later life, but not unusual cases.
Eleven persons who identified themselves as having experienced dispiritedness agreed to participate in the study.
Conducting the pattern appraisal process in a natural setting chosen by the participant assured that the study of dispiritedness occurred in mutual process with the participant's natural environment.
The researcher acted as the human instrument by obtaining descriptions of the phenomenon of dispiritedness through an in-depth interview conducted in a person-to-person encounter between researcher and participant.
During the pattern appraisal process, the researcher acted as a facilitator, clarifier, and evoker as a means to allow the participant's depictions of dispiritedness to unfold.
Examples of general questions concerning the experience of dispiritedness included: "How would you describe what it's like to feel dispirited?
Participants were asked if they could draw or paint a picture of dispiritedness what would it look like?
0 (Seidel, 1986) computer program was then used to manage transcribed dialogue by identifying text segments that related to the experiences, perceptions, and expressions of dispiritedness.
A field pattern profile was constructed for each participant by synthesizing the thematic statements and phrases into a descriptive narrative which depicted the experiences, perceptions, and expressions of dispiritedness.
The comments of the second participant on the pattern profile were used to identify common and universal human-environmental pattern manifestation of dispiritedness in later life.
The process is hermeneutic (interpretive) in that each participant considered and interpreted the construction of other participants' descriptions of dispiritedness in relation to his/her own experience.