Lecture 7:00pm Thurs ARTS 241
Structured interviews have to deal with interviewer effects:
– The characteristics of the interviewer may influence the responses given.
– Behaviour, dress, age
– Sex, social class, and race of interviewer are key reactive issues.
In person: superior
Face-to-face interviewing is the preferred method in academic research.
Data gathered through face-to-face interviews is argued to be a superior quality to that of
– Cheaper and quicker to administer, especially where the respondents are
geographically spread out.
– Easier to supervise to reduce interviewer errors up front.
– Reduced issue with confidentiality that exists with taped interviews.
– Reduced bias arising from ‘interviewer effect’.
– Reactive considerations decreased
– Find out whats going on in the English speaking world
– May exclude people without telephones (poor), ‘unlisted numbers’, cell phones,
and the hearing impaired unless a computer random-digit-dialling program is
used. (This is prohibited by law in some areas.)
– Hard to sustain for long periods of time (20–25 minutes).
– Personal interviews tend to be more effective with sensitive issues.
– Less peripheral information available to work with to assess for understanding
and other social conditions.
– Difficult to be sure targeted respondent is the person actually answering the
– Visual aids cannot be used to assist the interview.
– Cannot read body language
Computer assisted interviewing:
Filter question example:
Aseries of questions pertain to car ownership.
Afilter question could be, ‘Do you own a car?’
If the answer is ‘no’, the software can automatically skip all further questions on car ownership.
Online personal Interview
– Efficiency and economy of the internet.
– Opportunity for more considered, fuller responses.
– Ease of contact for follow-up.
– No need to transcribe.
• Disadvantages 2
– Fairly high dropout rate. (May be overcome by developing mutual trust.)
Online personal Interview
– Trust developed through
• soliciting agreement before sending questions,
• self-disclosure by researcher,
• disclose details of research project.
– Questions sent in bulk
• May lead to interviewee answering only the most interesting.
– Question-followed-by-reply process
• More reliable but more time consuming.
Conducting Interviews: Basic Points
a formal list of questions that the interviewer must follow in detail.
Typically the questions must be asked in the order given.
• Schedule – Interviewers should have a thorough knowledge of the interview schedule.
• Introduction – Respondents should be provided with a credible rationale for the
• Rapport – Interviewers should try to develop rapport with interviewees but maintain a
– ‘Too friendly’may cause the interview to get side-tracked, go on too long, or
encourage an interviewee to tailor their responses toward