The sample essay on Non Directive Interviews deals with a framework of research-based facts, approaches, and arguments concerning this theme. To see the essay’s introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion, read on.
There are a number of different research methods I can use for my primary research, but I have decided that the methods that will benefit my research are: questionnaires, non-directive interviews and structured interviews I am going to begin with a pilot study before going onto my interviews. By doing this I should be able to obtain some valuable information which I will be able to put into numerical form e.
pie charts, statistics and percentages.This is a big advantage as I will be able to compare data easily and it will give me a better understanding of what teenage girls feel about the pressures of dieting. Questionnaires are also a cheap, efficient and fast method for obtaining large amounts of information, which is helpful to me, as I do not have much time to carry out my primary research.
Potentially, information can be collected from a large portion of a group, but this potential is not often realized as returns from questionnaires are usually low.For example, postal questionnaires are a relatively inexpensive method of obtaining information but often only a very small percent of the sample return them and those who do often have a special reason for doing so which makes the results untypical as a whole.
This is why I have decided not to send postal questionnaires but to give them to girls at my school instead, this way I will be able to make sure that everyone returns their completed form to me.
I am going to use random sampling in order for my results to be more representative of teenage girls as a whole. I will go through a register for each year group from years 7-13 and cross of every third name until I have ten names from each year. I will then give each person a questionnaire to fill out.However, there are some disadvantages of using questionnaires in my study. Respondents may answer superficially especially if the questionnaire takes a long time to complete, so I will make sure that the common mistake of asking too many questions is avoided.
Great care must also be taken when wording the questions so there is no bias, or words that some people may misinterpret or not understand.
If this happens my results may not be as representative or accurate as they could be.
I will also avoid including open-ended questions as these can generate large amounts of data that can take a long time to process and analyse.Some girls may not be willing to answer some of the questions as my project is on quite a sensitive topic, especially for girls. So I will ask them to reply honestly and tell them that the questionnaire is anonymous. My second research method is unstructured interviews. With non-directive interviews there are few problems of misunderstanding or misinterpretation and the interviewee is not restricted to set questions like in questionnaires, they can really say how they feel. The respondent is in control of the content of the interview and is free to explore any aspect of the topic they want. This will give me a more in-depth and detailed insight into the real thoughts and feelings of the interviewee.However, there are a few disadvantages with using this method.
By using an unstructured interview it is difficult to generalise as it is a small sample, and in my case only one persons opinion. This also makes it harder to analyse or make any generalisation that all girls feel the same way as the respondent does. There could also be interviewer bias which is quite a big disadvantage. I could in some way influence or direct the answers given by the interviewee, therefore the respondent may change their answer according to the type of question given. But if I am careful with how I phrase and say my questions, I should be able to avoid any interviewer bias.My third research method is structured interviews. The advantage of structured interviews is that they allow the exploration of specific topics, while allowing people to tell the interviewer what they think is important.
I am going to video- tape the opinions of five teenage girls on dieting and the media.
I aim to find out if they feel pressured at all by the media to be slim and how far they have taken dieting in order to achieve this media image of “the perfect female body”. I think it will be interesting to see how their answers compare and differ by asking the same questions to five different girls.Structured interviews give the respondent the chance to speak for themselves about the topic and the chance to clarify complex questions. However success depends on the skill of the interviewer, but I will spend time making sure that the questions I ask will be beneficial to my project. Another disadvantage is that I may give out unconscious signals to the respondent which may lead them to change their reply. Another problem is that I might only follow up my areas of interest there fore restricting the respondents answers.
These interviews can also be very time consuming, so I have only decided to interview five people for my study.There are some types of primary research which I have decided not to use. Methods such as longitudinal studies and participant observation would require a great amount of time which I would like to have, but have not got enough time to carry out properly. A longitudinal study is an ideal way of understanding social life at one point in time, but in order to understand social life in the present it is essential to see it as a development from the past. This method requires a picture of social life over a long time which is not possible for me to do.With participant observation the number of people observed is small therefore generalisations are not possible.
This method would not be very useful to my project either, as it would be hard to observe people’s eating habits without asking personal questions about weight etc and many people would find covert observation for my topic unethical. A case study could be a good source of primary data for me to use as they can give a more detailed picture than research based on large samples. However, as they are seen as one off examples they cannot be seen as representative. They are also quite time consuming. I am confident that my chosen research methods will provide me with some valuable information from which I can analyse and draw a conclusion from.