Interviews

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Interviews

Advantages

  • Detailed, qualitative information can be obtained and it allows the researcher to clarify the significance of the information being provided.
  • Allows the participant to freely express themselves.
  • Unstructured interviews may encourage the participant to be more honest in their answers - new lines of psychological enquiry.
  • Data about internal mental states/beliefs.

Disadvantages

  • Statistical analysis can be difficult if the interview is unstructured and the data collected is qualitative.
  • More time consuming than a questionnaire.
  • Greater chance of interpersonal variables affecting the responses, i.e. investigator effects.
  • Self-report data may be untrue.

Evaluation

Interviews can be structured (fixed predetermined questions) or unstructured (simply a topic for discussion) and these have advantages such as allowing detailed, qualitative information to be obtained, but also have disadvantages including being difficult to analyse statistically and issues with validity.

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