- Количество слайдов: 15
INF 5220 - 5 Lecture 2 nd of January 2006
Last week’s assignments • Observation • Interview • What did you learn?
Observation • Values of direct observational approaches: – Understanding context – Inductive approach: less need to rely on prior conceptualizations of the setting – See things that are routinely ”taken for granted” – See things participants may be unwilling to talk about in interviews
Observation • Observing what happens: – Activities: planned, unplanned – People: characteristics, grouping – What people say: quotations – How they interact: patterns, frequency, direction of communication, changes; formal and informal – Nature of physical setting (photographs? ) • Observing what does not happen: – No conflicts?
Observation • More than casual looking around – Don’t think you are a ”natural” observer • Requires preparation • Training: – How to write descriptively – Practicing recording field notes – Separations details/trivia • What is unimportant? • Not separation details/context!
Interviews • Using interviews in your research? Here are two questions that you need to think about: – What status do you allocate to the data? I. e. what do you think about the relation between the interviewee’s accounts and the world(s) they describe? – What do you think about the relation between the interviewee and the interviewer? (respondent, informant, interviewee, subject, etc. )
What status do you assign to your interview data? • Are they facts (e. g. about attitudes and behaviour)? – That is, if you have designed and conducted the interview properly, and avoided problems such as bias. • Do the interview give you accounts of authentic experiences? – That is, if you have managed to engage emotionally and achieved understanding and ’depth’. • Are the interviews ’jointly constructed encounters of focused interaction’? – Do you have your focus on how participants actively create meaning and perform during the interview?
Corresponds to: • The three categories (Silverman) and their focus: – Positivism: Quality (reliability) more or less equal to ’nonbias’. Much use of prescheduled and standardised interviews – Emotionalism: Interviews of high quality have managed to acquire ’depth’. Use of open-ended interviews – Constructionism: Quality linked to reflexivity. Open-ended interviews to be reported with adequate detail. • Not one correct category, choice depends on your purpose. – Your practical concerns should guide your analytic position – Ask yourself whether interviews really help you address your research topic
What status do the data have? • Geertz, 1973; p. 9: ”What we call our data are really our own constructions of other people’s constructions of what they and their compatriots are up to”. • Van Maanen, 1979: – Interviewee’s constructions: first-order data – Researcher’s constructions: second-order concepts, which rely on good theory and insightful analysis •
On interviewing and questioning • Types of interviews: – Structured: more or less fixed sequence of pre-formulated questions. (Iterations (tests and feedback) during design of interview guide) – Semi-structured: you want to cover some areas, but the sequence is not important. Adjust the wording of the questions and ask follow-up questions as you go along – Open (non-structured): Maybe a pre-formulated starting question, but thereafter the interviewee steers. • Ways to question: – Closed versus open questions: • ”Would you say this project has been a success or a failure? ” • ”How would you evaluate the project? ” – Clear and short questions, one at a time – Sequence: from the general to the specific – How and What-questions versus Why-questions • Ask questions on experience and behaviour before questions on feelings and opinions
Probes • Eliciting response without manipulating: probing. Probes can be used in order to get more details, or to get the interviewee to elaborate more and clarify the statements – The basic probe: repeat the initial question when the interviewee seems to be wandering off the point. – Explanatory probes to illuminate vague or incomplete statements: • ”What did you mean by that? ” • ”What makes you say that? ” • ”Could you tell me more about this? ” – Focused probes to obtain specific information: • • • What sort of…? Then what happened? What seemed to lead up to that? Was this before or after. . ? What else happened? How would you compare this to. . ? – Silent probe: when the interviewee is reluctant or slow to answer, just wait silently. • An example of a leading probe: ”So you would say that you were really satisfied? ”
Probes • The technique of drawing out when the interviewee has halted or dried up: – ”Tell me more about that. . ” – ”What happened then? ” • Mirorring or reflecting, expressing in your own words what is said, the interviewee may then correct or add on. – ”What you seem to be saying is that …” • Contradicting: give an opposite opinion – ”Is that really so – I heard somebody say. . ” • • Linking: connect the statement with a question on relevant information Display puzzlement to have the interviewee elaborate. – ”Why is that a problem? ” – ”I am not sure I understand, could you explain why. . ” • Challenging: demand more information to prove a claim – ”Really? • • Encouraging: give compliments Giving ideas or suggestions: – ”Have you thought about …? ” – ”Have you tried. . ? ” • • Showing understanding and allowing time for elaboration Acknowledging: Nod, say ”yes” or ”uh-hmm” or repeat the answer to show attention.
Example of using probes: • R: ”Why did you decide to further your studies in the UK? ” • I: ”The school I attended in Hong Kong was not very good. Also it is rather difficult to enter a good secondary school there” • R: ”Which school did you go to when you were in Hong Kong? ” • I: ”T S Government Primary School” (Contradicting) • R: ”Isn’t it a good school? ” • I: ”No. The English standard is low. Chinese is the best subject there. ” (Linking) • R: ”How was English taught there? ” • I: ”It was very different form here (UK). Here I am asked to write essays. In TS Government Primary School, students were asked to buy their own course books and the teachers taught us chapter by chapter. ” (Fake being puzzled) • R: ”Is there anything wrong with that? ” • I: ”Teaching was slow and our teachers taught things repeatedly”. (Rita S. Y. Berry: ”Collecting data by in-depth interviewing”. Paper presented at the British Educational Research Association annual conference, September 1999)
Example of interviewing technique: The ’Reverse Laddering Technique’ (from cognitive psychology, and consumer/marketing research) helps to ’dig deeper’ into people’s reasoning, to reveal their ’causal maps’. One asks ”Why (how, in what way) is that important to you? ” Concepts: Example: • • • concrete attributes abstract attributes functional consequences psychosocial consequences instrumental values terminal values (low fat) (fewer calories) (slimming) (social acceptance) (self-confidence) (self-esteem)
On interviewing and questioning • Recording and transcribing: – Recording devices (tape recorder, mobile, laptop): try it out before you use it (sound quality, distance, background noise). Do also take notes in case something fails. – Interference in the interview situation: subject may get wary, but most tend to forget about the recording device rather soon. – Transcription takes a lot of time! (1 hour interview makes for 6 -8 hours writing) Don’t be too ambitious when planning your research. – Transcriptions are useful (to share with collaborators/supervisors, allows you to go back to material later with other aims, ideas). • Your own body language and engagement – Convey attention and genuine interest through tone of voice, expressions, gestures. Balance note-taking with attention. – Dress and manners. Choice of location for interview – How do you present yourself, as ’student’ or ’researcher’? Are you asking for an ’interview’ or a ’discussion’? – Convey understanding and respect, and that you record the responses rather than judge them – Allow them finish what they are saying, let them proceed in their own rate of thinking and speaking.