• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Interview is a form of research method which involves interaction between interviewer and respondents working through standardized questionnaires referring to structured interview favored by positivists or through informal conversation which refers to uns

Extracts from this document...


Interview Interview is a form of research method which involves interaction between interviewer and respondents working through standardized questionnaires referring to structured interview favored by positivists or through informal conversation which refers to unstructured interview favored by phenomenologists. In the followings, the practical, theoretical and ethical issues of interview will be discussed. First of all, interview can be carried out either individually or in group. Individual interviews allow in-depth discussion of the research topic, especially topics concerning sensitive issues as it is easier to establish rapport between the researcher and respondent. Through a one-to-one discussion with the interviewer, respondent will be more open and honest in their answers as they can feel their privacy and confidentiality can be protected. Besides, interviewer can ensure respondent is not distracted or influenced by the presence of other respondents, which would be difficult in group interviews. However, individual interviews are more suitable for small scale study as it is rather time consuming. This in turn will lower the representativeness and generalizability of the data collected, despite its high validity. ...read more.


For example, some criminals interviewed by Laurie Taylor later claimed they had made up fanciful stories about their escapades in order to see how gullible Taylor was. This has resulted in data less valid than that of participant observation. Nonetheless, theoretically, the data collected in interview is still considered more valid than that of questionnaire. This is because, through face to face interaction, interviewer may be able to detect lies by judging the facial and body language of respondents. This would prevent respondent from lying or misleading the researcher. Hence, interview is seen to be more valid than questionnaire. Besides that, interview has the advantage in the sense that the interviewer could probe deeper to gain in-depth information, especially through unstructured interview. This can be seen in Betty Friedon's study of women's satisfaction as housewives. Though, this would not be the case for structured interview as the interviewer is not allowed to deviate from questions provided. Hence, data collected in unstructured interview is more valid than of structured interview. ...read more.


Hence, generalization and representativeness of data collected in interview are more justified. Even so, interview has the practical disadvantage of language barriers. Although this can be solved by hiring trained interviewer, it would be rather costly. In addtion, interview has less ethical issue than experiment or covert participation as consent is usually obtained before the interview can take place. Confidentiality and privacy of the interviews can also be protected. Informed consent from participant would also prevent misleading the participant of the nature of research. Unlike covert participant observation, both interviewer and respondent are unlikely to be harm or placed in danger in interview as respondent is aware of interviewer identity and purpose. Hence, interview is seen as a rather ethical research method. Withal, interview produces results which are less valid than participant observation but more valid and less reliable than questionnaire and experiment. Although interview tends to be limited to small scale study which has low representativeness and generalizability, interview is useful to study attitudes and emotions which cannot be observed directly. These limitations can be overcome by using method triangulation by Norman, which allows crosschecks of finding produced by other method, as to increase the validity and reliability of the findings. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Sociological Differentiation & Stratification essays

  1. Assess the strengths and weaknesses of questionnaires, as a research method

    Comparing questionnaires to other research methods, we can see the difference in the data collected and why each theorist likes a particular research method. For example, interviews are preferred by feminists as they allow you to collect qualitative and in-depth information about the participant.

  2. Demography topic revision notes. The study of populations and their characteristics is called ...

    More broadly, in modern societies, 'ageism' - the negative stereotyping of people on the basis of their age - often portrays the old as vulnerable, incompetent or irrational, and as a burden to society. This contrasts with the view of the elderly found in traditional societies.

  1. Choice of research method. here are various types of research methods available, such ...

    Thus, a sociologist's who have limited time would opt for research method like social surveys. Apart from that funding available is also a rather influential factor. Researcher with better financial support can choose certain field they are interested in. some small scale research requires little funding but major research projects can be very expensive.

  2. Should marijuana be legalized

    In the King James Bible, Psalms 104:14 clearly states "He causeth the grass for the cattle, and the herb for the service of man." That clarifies the assumption that it is not a sin to smoke marijuana. Many people would benefit from marijuana being legalized.

  1. Social research

    typically I will get a higher response rate with my interviewing method. On the other hand though, there are some disadvantages. Firstly, interviewers may affect the answers with a bias view that is brought out in the questions. Interviews are generally more expensive and the look of the interviewer can affect how the interviewee feels.

  2. What is an Interview

    The main limitation of qualitative approaches is that by being so subjective it is hindered by the biases and assumptions of both the interviewer and the interviewee. For instance, interviewer bias could reflect in the type of questions asked, and the interviewing style of the interviewer.

  1. Assess the usefulness of Postal Questionnaires

    is too complicated they may simply give an answer just for the sake of giving one. When compared to interviews it can be said that they are quite different methods of collecting data as interviews require the researcher to actually have contact with a respondent in order to gain their

  2. METHODOLGY The research design sets out how the researcher will collect evidence and ...

    This again, raises another problem with the validity of the data because it may not be evidence of it claims to be evidence of. E) Science is the study of nature and natural phenomena and the knowledge obtained by them.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work