Exploring the Phenomenological Structure of Existential Anxiety
- Presented by: Dr Jonathan Davidov
- Synopsis: Exsitential Anxiety, typically defined as the experience of becoming aware of the universal concerns including death, meaninglessness, freedom and loneliness, is explored to provide a sense of how it is subjectively experienced through Transformative Life Experiences.
The purpose of this talk is to present our study of a systematic phenomenological approach to explore existential anxiety, typically defined as the experience of becoming aware of the universal concerns including death, meaninglessness, freedom and loneliness. It focuses on in-depth exploration of Transformative Life Experiences (TLE), events which often induce radical and profound reorganization of one’s life. Data was collected through in-depth interviews with 150 adults who self-identified and accounted for a TLE in their lives. Data analysis was guided by a hermeneutic phenomenology paradigm that postulates that people account for their experience within the four lifeworld existentials of temporality, spatiality, corporality (embodiment), and relationality. A heuristic model was developed as an attempt to bridge the gap between the theoretical notion of existential anxiety and how it is subjectively experienced by interviewees.