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Chapter 11 & 12 Notes Research Methods

by: Lili Notetaker

Chapter 11 & 12 Notes Research Methods 306

Lili Notetaker
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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About this Document

Chapter 11: Interviewing Chapter 12: Focus Groups
Research Methods
Deepa Oommen
Class Notes
Researchmethods, Chapter11&12, FocusGroups, interviewing
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Lili Notetaker on Wednesday October 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 306 at Minnesota State University - Mankato taught by Deepa Oommen in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 23 views. For similar materials see Research Methods in (CMST) Communication Studies at Minnesota State University - Mankato.

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Date Created: 10/05/16
CHAPTER 11: INTERVIEWING  Purpose of interviewing=to ask questions and get answers from participants involved in your study to discover knowledge. APPROACHES TO INTERVIEWING : Three traditional approaches: Structured, semi-structured, and unstructured.  Structured Interviews: Very structured, the interviewer:  1.) Prepares all the questions ahead of time = interview guide.  2.) Asks each participant the exact same questions in the exact same order.  3.) Has few if any open-ended questions in the interview guide.  4.) Does not insert personal opinion into the interview.  Types of structured interviews include: self-administered questionnaires, telephone interviews, Internet-based interviews, initial medical interviews.  Benefits of structured interviews: People conducting these interviews only need to be trained to follow basic data collection instructions, there’s less of a relationship between the interviewer and participants, & data collected in this type of research is more reliable.  Semi-structured Interviews & Unstructured Interviews: Interview is more of a conversation than a one-way process like a structured interview.  Types: Narrative Interviews, many are conducted in mutually agreed upon locations.  The interviewer has developed an understanding of the setting or context to allow the majority of the questions to be open-ended in nature.  Building rapport is important. Rapport= showing “respect for the people being interviewed so that what they say is important because of who is saying it”.  Semi-Structured Interviews are typically used when: interviewers only have one chance to meet with a particular participant or when ethnographic observation can precede the interviews  Unstructured Interviews are typically used when: Researchers plan to revisit the same participants on multiple occasions or are open to having the participants influence their understanding or approach to the subject or context.  Both interviewers offer participants a chance to openly express their opinions. This provides thick description=An in=depth understanding of a culture or setting provided by the members of the culture and captured by others. TYPES OF DATA IN INTERVIEWS : Data consist of the transcripts of the interviews and any notes taken during the interviews.  Transcription of Interviews: You can buy software programs to help with audio-recording your interviews. It’s beneficial to transcribe interviews shortly after they are conducted. It’s helpful to insert notes in the margins during the interview.  Sampling: Random vs non random sampling. Most cases, non-random sampling is necessary and useful in interviewing.  Data Saturation: Point at which no new data emerge. TYPES OF CLAIMS IN INTERVIEWS : Researchers who use interviews as a method are generally more likely to identify as interpretive or critical scholars. Two claims primarily associated with interviewing: Descriptive and interpretive.  Descriptive Claims: Descriptive tales or accounts of what is happening=journalism. Helps define what is occurring in a setting to reveal individual meanings. WARRANTSIN INTERVIEWS: Address the ability of the researcher to describe multiple realities. Key issues to consider: credibility, adequacy, and coherence. Components used to determine credibility= level of researcher training/experience, researcher’s degree of membership in the social context, faithfulness or coherence, and reflexivity.  Training and Experience: Researcher is the instrument in the interpretive approach. One’s level of experience in interviewing is paramount.  Degree of Membership: Researchers should be deeply involved and closely connected to the scene, activity, or group being studied.  Faithfulness: Being detailed. Researcher should consider time spent in the field, number of people interviewed, going over notes and transcripts, and making sure there is enough research conducted.  Coherence: Logic and internal validity. Researcher must ask if the results logically support the claims they are making.  Reflexivity: Considering your position in relation to what you are studying. Reflecting on the research process. Ex. How can your religious beliefs, age, gender/sex, sexual orientation, political views, and personal experiences affect what you pay attention to the most during an interview? ANALYSIS OF INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPTS : Researcher can use various methods to analyze interview transcripts from an interpretive approach. Can conduct a content analysis of their interview transcripts, could perform a rhetorical analysis, could approach the project and the analysis from a critical/cultural perspective, and could do a grounded-theory analysis.  Grounded Theory: The process of breaking down, examining, comparing, conceptualizing, & categorizing data. Has 4 steps:  1.) Collect data from participants. (give out interviews)  2.) Take notes during interviews.  3.) Code in margins of transcripts of interviews. Write down themes and purpose of interviews.  4.) Memo. Write down generalized links between what is coded and established theory. CHAPTER 12: FOCUS GROUPS  Standard practice in advertising & filmmaking.  Focus group= A research method where people are interviewed about a specific topic. Can grange from formal group interviews, to informal to brainstorming sessions to group interviews. .  Falls under the interpretive/critical/cultural paradigms.  Focus groups are led by a moderator= Leads the discussion among the participants in the group.  Focus groups are able to identify “general background info about a topic of interest”.  Group effect= When group members interact, new data and insight emerge that may have been less accessible previously. HOW TO PREPARE FOR A FOCUS GROUP : 7 important components:  1.) Need to have a research focus for your study: Both research questions & hypotheses can be explored with focus groups.  2.) Determine if a focus group design is the most appropriate for your study: Ask people about their self-disclosures.  3.) Determine how many focus group you will conduct & how many ppl you will have in each group: Never settle on just one focus group. Need more than on focus group so you can compare the results from each group. Want btwn 6-12 ppl in each focus group. Should try to include ppl with a variety of opinions to generate true group effect. Should have a min. of 2-3 focus groups in study.  4.) As yourself if you’ll pay your participants: May need to offer incentives for participation. Incentives= paid or unpaid ways of encouraging people to participate in a study.  5.) Determine where the focus group will take place: Focus groups almost always take place in a controlled environment. (lab) The researcher determines place and time for group to meet.  6.) Record your interviews: Need to decide if you’re going to audio or video record groups. Important to take into consideration of how participants say things. Record focus groups & then transcribe data. Still take notes though even if you record.  7.) Need a Moderator: Moderator leads focus group & makes sure the discussion guide is followed. Discussion guide= the program for the focus group. Questions in guide are based on main purposes of study. HOW TO CONDUCT A FOCUS GROUP : When conducting a focus group you need to make sure:  1.) Location is functional: Have location ready before participants arrive.  2.) Double check recording devices: Check the equipment before focus group begins.  3.) Conduct discussion using guide: Helps the moderator lead the discussion. Guides should be open for change and flexible in allowing participants to talk about things important to them and the group’s subject.  4.) Analyze results: Analyze all data. Can analyze qualitative data in many ways. Can use grounded-theory analysis. Metaphoric analysis, conversation/discourse analysis, or content analysis. Also consider moderator’s notes & observations. ADVANTAGES & LIMITATIONS OF FOCUS GROUPS :  5 main advantages:  1.) Cost  2.) Speed  3.) Quantity of participants.  4.) Ability to reach sensitive populations  5.) Group effect  2 limitations:  1.) Keep in mind the moderators- make sure the moderator is well trained. If they’re not well trained it could ruin the focus groups.  2.) Keep in mind the participants- the participants are volunteers so the info. & feedback you get out of them may not be what you’re looking for.


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