• Created by: Sarah
  • Created on: 08-05-16 08:18


The most widely used method of qualitative data-collection in psychology
Interviews are for disclosure.

Is your research question nomothetic or idiographic?
Nomothetic = 
relating to the discovery of general laws
Idiographic = 
relating to the study of particular facts or processes 


  • General tendencies of population
  • Quantitative
  • Large numbers required


  • The particular, biographical, histories, case study
  • Qualitative
  • Small numbers appropriate 

1. Design issues - schedule wording

  • Structured:
    Exactly the same for everyone
    Could be in written form
  • Semi-structured:
    Set of themes and same basic items for everyone
    Allowing for prompts and follow-ups
    More flexible
  • Unstructured:
    General themes, issues you want to discuss
    Less comparable across cases

From general to specific = funnelling
Helps in gathering of detail
Helps checking out all possible responses

eg. "I'm interested in the use of communication sills by medical professionals in their dealings with patients". 

General: "Tell me how you deal with a patient who is distressed"
Specific (follow up): "Any other techniques you have for that?"
"How did these help?"
"Did you use communication skills?"

Funnelling techniques - order from open (how, what, why) to closed (yes, no)

What skills are important to a paramedic?
What about communication, is that an important skill?

Reflection - So you say that communication is important in your work....
Invites more elaboration or disclosure
A chance to check what the person is saying

To encourage disclosure-

  • Express ignorance so they give voice to unstated or implicit assumptions
  • Do not ask double-barrelled questions - which bit are they answering


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