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An Examination of Interview Methodology
Transcript of An Examination of Interview Methodology
What Is An Interview?
Interviews "generate empirical data about the social world"
(Holstein & Gubrium, 1997)
The value of interviews lies in their "contribution to knowledge"
- Asking questions and getting answers
- The answers help build upon knowledge
- Act of interviewing can take many forms
- Individual or group face-to-face
- Electronic communication
The interview has existed in different forms for a long time
First formal interviews said to have been conducted by the Ancient Egyptians as part of their census
The History of Interviews
Interviewing used for psychological evaluation of soldiers in WWI
Du Bois and Robert Park influenced community studies within the Chicago School
American Institute of Opinion Polling founded by George Gallup in 1935
Developments in the United States
An Examination of Interview Methodology
How to Conduct An Interview
- Collection of detailed Data
- Perspective assessment
- Collection of first-person data
- Collection of honest feedback
Pros Of Interview Format
Cons of Interview Format
History Of Interview Methodology
the interview became a tool used to quantify data in survey research
survey research used to assess American soldiers' mental and emotional states during WWII
quantitative interview introduced into academia; controversial development was met with resistance from many scholars
The Quantitative Interview
academics beginning to focus on the effect of the interview on participants
concerned with issues of power disparities in the interviewer-interviewee relationship
The Interview in Postmodern Social Research
Types of Interviews
Limited number of possible responses
Open-format (or open-ended)
Usually begin with "why" or "how"
**Research questions are NOT interview questions**
AKA standardized interviews or researcher-administered surveys
Aim: each respondent has exactly the same experience
Look broadly at topic
Simple data analysis
Difficulty creating questions
Over the phone
For research focused on gaining insight and understanding
Means of Communication
Life history interview
Types of Semi-Structured Interviews
Most used in practice
Utilize an Interview Guide
Traits of interviewer:
Flexible & responsive
"Best of both worlds"
Rapport between interviewer & respondent
Comparison between answers possible
Freedom during interview
Resources required to plan and execute
Time consuming process
Costly and time consuming analysis of results
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- "Hawthorne Effect"
- Rely on trust from respondent
- Possible power imbalance
- Require substantial amount of time
- Difficult to create ambiguous questions
- Interviewers often 'construct knowledge'
Interviews in Design Research
developed a method for information systems design that combined both top-down and bottom-up strategies
her "Contextual Inquiry" method involves the contextual interview, wherein the interviewer observes the interviewee in their workplace
useful tool for designers to understand users' complex needs
most effective when the designers are also researchers
unstructured or semi-structured interviews are most often used in design research
combined with observation to gain an understanding of the user's habits
Interviewing in Design
Allow for spontaneity throughout the interview
Collect qualitative data
(Guion, Diehl, & McDonald, 2013)
(Kvale, 1996 as cited in Guion et al., 2013)
Karen Holtzblatt and Contextual Inquiry
and Labour of the
People in London
Research looked at the living conditions of the impoverished in London
Bolstered his survey research with unstructured interviews and ethnographic observation
Copycat studies popped up in America
Holstein & Gubrium, 1997
Interview as an "interpersonal drama with a developing plot"
Emphasis on meaning making
The Active Subject:
Subject is tapped
"Interpretive capabilities must be activated, stimulated and cultivated"
This is different than simply coaxing answers out of respondents
Emphasizes "dynamic interrelatedness of 'whats' and 'hows'"
The Active Interview