10 - Interviewing in Qualitative Research Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in 10 - Interviewing in Qualitative Research Deck (26):

qualitative interviewing vs quantitative

-less structure, tends to be more open ended
-more interest in interviewee's perspectives/concerns
-going off tangent is encouraged
-wording and question order may vary between interviews
-wants rich, detailed answers


unstructured vs structured interviews

unstructured: at most, memory aid is used (like small set of self prompts), may be a single question.
semi-structured: interviewer has list of questions/topics but interviewee still has leeway as to how to answer. all questions are asked and similar wording is used.
for both: aim is to understand how interviewee interprets issues and events


use unstructured interviews if...

...researcher feels a guide would hinder access to worldview
....if research begins with fairly clear, not general, focus
....if more than one person is to carry out fieldwork


interview guide

established certain amount of order so that questions flow but allow for flexibility. includes questions/topics that address research question without being too specific, uses language comprehensible and familiar to interviewees, doesn't ask leading questions, includes prompts to remind record-taking of basic info


before an interview....

-be familiar with setting (everyday surroundings of interviewees)
-get reliable tape recorder
-make sure interview takes places in quiet and private setting
-cultivate traits of good interviewer


after interview...

make notes about how interview went, where interview took place, any new avenues of interest that resulted from interview, etc


types of questions: introducing

ex: "when did you interest in X begin?"
"have you ever...?"


types of questions: follow-up

Elaborating on an answer
ex: "what do you mean by that?"


types of questions: probing

elaborating on an answer through direct question
ex: "can you say more about that?"
"in what ways do you not like X?"


types of questions: specifying

ex: "what did you do then?"
"how did Mr. X react to what you said?"


types of questions: direct

best left to the end of the interview so direction of interview isn't affected
ex: "do you find it easy to smile at customers?"


types of questions: indirect

remember to ask for interviewee's own opinion first
ex: "what do most people here think of management's treatment of staff?"


types of questions: structuring

ex: "now I'd like to move to a different topic"


types of questions: silence

a pause will give interviewee time to reflect/elaborate on answer
pauses that are too long are awkward.


types of questions: interpreting

ex: "do you mean...?"
"is it fair to say that you don't....?"


one of the main jobs of the interviewer is....

-be attentive of what is/isn't being said
-active but not intrusive listening
-do not put too much pressure for answer
-be prepared to cut short line of questioning that makes interviewee uncomfortable


initial open-ended questions

ex: "what events led to...?"
"what was your life like prior to...?"


intermediate questions

ex: "how do you feel about...?"
"what was the immediate impact of...?"


ending questions

ex: "how have your views on X changed?"
"what advice would you give?"


vignette questions are good because...

they ground interviewee's accounts of behaviour with concrete and realistic scenarios


"off the record" accounts can be...

incredibly helpful because some may be self conscious of or alarmed at being recorded


focus groups

a group interview in which interviewees can speak/interact with one another. fairly unstructured, moderator/facilitator guides session but doesn't intrude


pros of focus groups

+allows researcher to develop an understanding of why people feel the way they do
+allows participants to probe one another's reasons
+can elicit a wide variety of perspectives on an issue
+participants can challenge/argue other's views
+opportunity to study how individuals collectively make sense of a phenomenon and construct meaning of it (symbolic interactionism, naturalistic)


how many focus groups?

-one might not be enough
-limiting # of groups according to theoretical saturation
-how likely one's views are affected by sociodemographic factors such as age, gender, or social class


how large should the focus group be?

-6-10 members
-over-recruit to account for no-shows
-larger group if researcher wants to hear numerous brief suggestions
-groups may be separated by sociodemographic


intervention in the case of focus groups

-small number of very general questions to guide session
-apparent digressions can reveal something of significance
-if additional knowledge is needed, the subject is embarrassing, or there is limited interest, additional structure is needed
-if in doubt, err on the minimal intervention