Self Report method


The Self Report Method

A self report is any method which involves asking a participant about their feelings, attitudes, beliefs and so on.

The main strength of self report methods are that they allow participants to describe their own experiences rather than inferring from observation.

Questionnaires and Interviews

Questionnaires (self report method) consist of questions in a structured form; usually contain open and closed questions; participants record own answers.

·          Open questions – pts provide long, in-depth answers/opinions; gains qualitative data (detailed but difficult to analyse).

·          Closed questions – pts select answer; gains quantitative data (easy to compare/analyse, not in-depth).

Interviews (self report method) consist of spoken questions and answers, recorded responses.

·          Structured interview – pts asked a pre-determined set of questions (easier, but restrictive).

·          Unstructured interview – pts asked unplanned questions by researcher (difficult and time consuming, but in-depth detail gathered).

·          Semi-structured interview– some pre-determined questions, follow up questions based on responses of pts for development of answers (most popular technique).


·          Study large samples, easily and quickly.


·          Questions may be leading, give a biased answer.

·          Pts may not understand, results may not be valid.

·          Response rate of questionnaires is low, sample


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