Psychological Investigations - Interviews & Questionnaires

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  • Created by: Erin
  • Created on: 16-05-13 15:07

Self-report methods

  • Interviews and questionaires = self-report measures


  • Self report measures refers to to asking participants to give their own ideas


  • Subject matters normally include feelings, attitudes & beliefs


  • They allows participants to provide their own experiences rather than just observation
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Types of Questions

A number of questions are used:

  • Open questions = reqire opinions and explanations from participants - qualitative data
  • Closed questions = forces choice e.g yes/no - quantitative data
  • Likert scale = measures strength of opinion e.g. strongly agree, agree, neutral, disagree, strongly disagree - quantitative data
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Closed/Open questions

  • Closed questions provide a limited choice
  • This provides quantitative data which is easy to analyse
  • However, it fails to give a clear idea or allow in depth research
  • Open questons allow the repondant to give their on data
  • They give qualitative data which is much more difficult to analyse
  • It allows a more in depth investigation and ensures the reponsses are ot put into catergories = determinism


Determinism is when it is suggested that people's behaviour are always determind by different factores

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Rating scales

  • The most used rating scale is a Likert Scale
  • A statment is provided and the respondent identitfies how strongly they agree or disagree
  • They allow more than a yes/no answer
  • The structure makes the data easy to analyse
  • However, some may choose the 'middle' numbers/repsponce = a less extreme responce

Order Effects = when a participant chooses specific numbers due to different reasons e.g. favourite number

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  • A type of self-report method ususally consisting of a highly structures, written formatat


  • Require the participants to provide and record their own answers
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  • Semi-structured - if the participants brings up interesting conversation then the interviwer can ask more questions


  • Free interview - know the topic but not set questions


  • Structured - set number of questions always asked to every participant


  • Form of self-report recorded by the investigator
  • Interview written into a transcript
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Advantages of self-reports

  • They can be reliable - no ambiguous questions


  • Easy to administer to a large sample


  • Can be valid - concurrent validity


  • Can be achieved quickly
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Disavantages of self-reports

  • Social desirability bis


  • Reponse/experimenter bias


  • Leading questions


  • Questions may be percieves differently by different people


  • Transcribing interviews and looking at open questions can be time consuming
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