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Research methods in clinical psychology: An introduction for students and practitioners Chris Barker, Nancy Pistrang, and Robert Elliott. CHAPTER 6 Self-report methods. Overview of self-report methods. Pros and cons Definitions and distinctions Qualitative methods Qualitative interviewing

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Research methods in clinical psychology:An introduction for students and practitionersChris Barker, Nancy Pistrang, and Robert Elliott

CHAPTER 6

Self-report methods

overview of self report methods
Overview of self-report methods
  • Pros and cons
  • Definitions and distinctions
  • Qualitative methods
    • Qualitative interviewing
  • Quantitative methods
    • Measure development
    • Questionnaire design
pros and cons of self report
Pros and cons of self-report
  • Advantage
    • Gives you the respondents’ views directly
  • Disadvantage
    • Validity problems:
    • Deception (of self or others)
    • Lack of conscious awareness
    • Attributional biases
definitions
Definitions
  • Interview
    • guided by protocol or schedule
  • Questionnaire
    • checklists and inventories
  • Survey
    • no precise definition
  • Census
    • samples whole population
advantages of written questionnaires
Advantages of written questionnaires
  • Standardised (i.e., wording is exactly the same each time)
  • Respondents can fill them out privately, in their own time
  • Can ensure confidentiality, via a code numbering system
  • Cheap to administer
advantages of interviews
Advantages of interviews

Rapport and flexibility enable the interviewer to:

  • ask follow-up questions
  • ensure respondent answers all questions
  • give more complicated instructions and check they are understood
  • vary the order of questions
  • allow respondents to ask their own questions
qualitative self report
Qualitative self-report
  • Semi-structured interviews
  • Conducting interviews
semi structured interviews format
Semi-structured interviews: format
  • Varying degrees of structure
  • Interview schedule (or guide or protocol)
  • Key features:
    • interactive; responsive; flexible
  • Contrast to questionnaires:
    • pre-formulated
    • standardised
  • Tape recording
designing a semi structured interview schedule
Designing a semi-structured interview schedule
  • Sequence of topics/questions:
    • conceptual or chronological framework
    • logical order
    • sensitive topics later
    • from general to specific (“funnelling”)
  • Prompts/probes
  • Use as an aide memoire
attitudes of a good interviewer
Attitudes of a good interviewer
  • role of facilitator or guide
  • interested in “hearing the person’s story”
  • sets aside own biases or assumptions
  • listens (doesn’t rush in with questions)
  • acceptance (doesn’t evaluate)
conducting a qualitative interview questions
Conducting a qualitative interview: questions
  • Aim: to gather information and explore meaning
  • Types of questions:
    • Open v. closed
    • “What” v. “Why”
    • Ask for specific examples (v. general/abstract)
conducting a qualitative interview prompts
Conducting a qualitative interview: prompts
  • Encourage elaboration:
    • “Can you tell me a bit more.”
    • “I’m not sure I quite understand.”
  • Return to earlier points:
    • “You said…, could I ask you a bit more about that?”
  • Give permission:
    • “Some people say that…”
  • Encourage reticent respondents:
    • “I’m interested in your views, there are no right or wrong answers.”
conducting a qualitative interview summarising
Conducting a qualitative interview: summarising
  • Summarising meaning (reflections)
  • Aim: to check understanding and to encourage elaboration
  • Capture central ideas/feelings
  • Avoid putting words into respondent’s mouth
  • NB: Research interview style is different from clinical interviews
quanitative self report
Quanitative self-report
  • Approaches to questionnaire design
steps in measure development
Steps in measure development
  • Literature search; draft measure based on theory, existing measures, pilot interviews
  • “Pretesting”: progressive pilot studies; informal reliability studies
  • Formal reliability study (e.g. N>120); factor analysis
  • Validity studies
questionnaire design item wording
Questionnaire design:Item wording
  • Neutrality
  • Clarity and simplicity
  • Specificity
  • Single questions
  • Brevity
  • “Take care of the respondent”
questionnaire design likert response scales
Questionnaire design:Likert response scales
  • How many scale points?
    • Central tendency
    • Visual analogue scales
  • Unipolar or bipolar?
  • Mid-point on bipolar scales?
  • Anchoring
questionnaire design response sets
Questionnaire design: Response sets
  • Acquiescence
    • reverse wording
  • Social desirability
    • social desirability scales
    • lie scales

NB: don’t confuse “response set” with “response scale”

questionnaires alternatives
Questionnaires: alternatives
  • Internet-based questionnaires
  • Integrating quantitative and qualitative self-report methods