SOCB05 – Lecture 8 – July 4 2013
Interactive Empirical Methods: Interviews
Guest Lecturer: Katelin Albert
o Emphasizes that there is a single objective truth that
can be discovered by science
o Research methods structured, replicable experimental.
Results are quantifiable
o Encourages us to regard the world as a rational,
ordered place wit ha clearly defined past, present and
Non-Positivistic – Interpretive: Inductive
o Knowledge influenced by multiple realities, sensitive to
context, research aims to uncover the meaning of the
o Researcher is a co-creator of meaning, brings own
subjective experience to the research, methods try to
capture insider knowledge, research conducted in
o Stresses the importance of symbolic, subjective
Why Qualitative Research?
o It involves finding out what people think, how they feel,
and what people know
o Or what they say they think and how they say they feel
Why is this useful?
o Attempting to make sense of, or interpret phenomena
in terms of the meanings people bring to them.
4 Main Types of Interviews
o Telephone Interview
Collect large data sets
Cost less money
Can hire researchers to do the phone calls
Allows you to do a random sample
Random Digit Dialling: Allows you to
have access to those who aren’t listed
in the phone book.
Higher response rate Allows for clarifications
No visual ques and might not get their full
Structured questions with few answers
Who is at home?
If you call, how long will people be willing to
Limited scope and direct questions
o In-Person Interview
High participation rates
Quality of data collected is in the
researchers hands. They can make sure that
they find what they want.
Literacy not a barrier.
Can access people who don’t speak
the language very well, or cant write.
Longer and more detail
Humanizing. People feel important because
you are asking about what they have
Timely and costly
May not be the goal
The idea that when someone is giving
visual cues during interviews by
saying things that make the
participants think that they are saying
the things the researcher wants to
Smaller Data Set
Good because you don’t always need
to talk to big groups.
Bad because you cannot generalize
Collect Own Data
Types of In-Person Interviews Structured
Not used very often, because it’d be
the same thing as doing a survey but
spending way more money.
Most favoured because it allows for
You have a guideline of questions
you’d like to ask, but let it take you