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debriefing

Definition of Debriefing

(noun) Asking participants for feedback about their experience engaging in a research project and informing them of an unrevealed purpose.

Example of Debriefing

  • Discussing how a participant feels after providing an interview about domestic violence.

Debriefing Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: de·brief·ing

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /dee-brEE-fing/
  • British English – /(dEE-brEE-fing/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English: /diˈbɹifɪŋ/
  • British English: /(ˈ)diːˈbɹiːfɪŋ/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: debriefings
  • Debriefing is particularly important if a participant could have experienced trauma during the research process. The debriefing period also allows participants to evaluate the process through sharing their lived experiences for the purpose of meaning making.
  • By reviewing participant’s responses and interactions with the interviewer, research methodologies can be adapted. This is particularly useful when running a pilot study.
  • Variant spelling: de-briefing
  • A (noun) debriefer (verb) debriefs a research participant.

Additional Information

Related Terms


Cite the Definition of Debriefing

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “debriefing.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved May 31, 2020 (http://sociologydictionary.org/debriefing/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

debriefing. (2014). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from http://sociologydictionary.org/debriefing/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2014. “debriefing.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed May 31, 2020. http://sociologydictionary.org/debriefing/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“debriefing.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2014. Web. 31 May. 2020. <http://sociologydictionary.org/debriefing/>.