Psychology AS OCR (investigations) - Self Reports

Revision cards on self reports

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  • Created by: Caitlin
  • Created on: 18-05-11 18:03

Structure of Self Reports

Structured -  

A researcher uses a pre-set list of questions which have fixed responses.

Semi structured -  

A researchers uses a pre-set list of questions with no fixed responses so participants can express their views in their own words.

Unstructured/Open ended -

No pre-set questions, no fixed responses.

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Type of Questions

Open ended -Invite people to express their views in their own words.

+ People can give their opinion so we learn why behavour occurs not just that it does, gives us detailed qualitative data.

- Requires interpretation due the endless list of possible answers which makes it hard to score objectivley, to categorize and therefore analyse.

Closed -These force people to choose from a list of possible answers. eg. yes/no, tick boxes or options such as "agree/dont know/disagree".

+ Easy to categorize and therefore analyse due to it being quantitative data, it also gives factual reliable results.

- We dont learn why a behaviour occurs not just that it does, and people will be more inclined to answer in a more socially desirable way. People are also forced to give a specific answer which reduces validity if people dont want to choose that option but are forced to.

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Advantages and Disadvantages of Questionnaire Meth

+ Allows researchers to find out things that cannot easily be discovered by experimentation or observation due to it being unethical or impossible.

+ Structured questionnaires are very easy to score objectively and analyse.

+ Unstructured questionnaires provide detailed understanding of peoples views on particular issues.

- We cant establish cause and effect as numerous factors may effect peoples responses.

- Social desirability may effect responses as what they say they do and what they actually do are different.

- Structured questionnaires dont offer people an opportunity to express their thoughts.

- Unstructured questionnaires rely on interpretation and are difficult to score objectively.

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