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A position in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind that emphasizes the role that the body plays in shaping the mind. Closely related ideas include situated cognition and enactivism. Philosophically, embodiment is the subjective experience of having and using a body. For phenomenologists like Merleau-Ponty, this subjective experience is a fundamental aspect of reality.


Book icon Leder, Drew (1990) The absent body, Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Web site video Some useful discussion and videos on embodiment from the Open University course, "The body: A phenomenological psychological perspective"

Web site Embodiment Resources

Book icon Damasio, Antonio (2006) Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason and the Human Brain, London: Vintage Books.

Template Analysis

Template Analysis. Developed by Nigel King and others.

The term "template analysis" refers to a particular way of thematically analysing qualitative data. The data involved are usually interview transcripts, but may be any kind of textual data. Template analysis involves the development of a coding "template", which summarises themes identified by the researcher(s) as important in a data set, and organises them in a meaningful and useful manner. Hierarchical coding is emphasised; that is to say, broad themes encompass successively narrower, more specific ones. Analysis often, though not always, starts with some a priori codes, which identify themes strongly expected to be relevant to the analysis. However, these codes may be modified or dispensed with altogether if they do not prove to be useful or appropriate to the actual data examined

See e.g.

Book icon King, N (2004) Using templates in the thematic analysis of text, in C.Cassell and G.Symon (Eds.) Essential Guide to Qualitative Methods in Organizational Research. London: Sage.



Constructing the final template

Authors of this page:Dawn Clarke and Graham R. Gibbs

Affiliation: University of Huddersfield

Date written: 20th January 2009




Learning outcomes

  1. How to combine together descriptive codes into over-arching categories
  2. How to reduce the size of the coding scheme (template)
  3. How to use the literature to introduce new concepts into the analysis
  4. How to use these ideas to re-interpret the data and establish new codes or themes.


In the final version of the template or coding scheme Frances simplified things a lot. She reduced the large number of descriptive codes concerned with treatment and the medical process of the experience of whiplash injury into just a few codes under the general heading of The Healthcare Experience. She also introduced some new codes which related to the theoretical idea of embodiment which she had got from her reading of the literature. Some of the descriptive codes she had used in the previous template were recoded to these new codes which gave much more emphasis to how the respondents had experienced their injury. This was particularly true of codes to do with pain and the management of pain. However, she also introduced new codes about the disruption to body movement and lifestyle and about the changing sense of self.

You may find it useful to print out the final version of the template that Frances used before watching this video.


Loudspeaker iconiPhone friendly version of the videoIn this 12 minute video, Frances discusses how she collapsed together many of the lower level codes into just a few codes grouped under the category or top-level code of The Healthcare Experience. She also explains how she came across the idea of embodiment in her reading and how she revised both the codes and her interpretation of the respondents' interviews to accommodate this in the analysis:


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