Self Report in Research and its Techniques (III)

Afza.Malik GDA

Diaries, Journals. Think-Aloud Method, Photo Elicitation Method and Self Report

Self Report in Research  and its Techniques : Critical Incidents, Diaries and Journals, The Think-Aloud Method, Photo Elicitation Interviews

Self Report in Research  and its Techniques : Critical Incidents, Diaries and Journals, The Think-Aloud Method, Photo Elicitation Interviews. 

    The critical incidents technique is a method of gathering information about people's behaviors by examining specific incidents relating to the behavior under investigation (Flanagan, 1954). The technique, as the name suggests, focuses on a factual incident, which may be defined as an observable and integral episode of human behavior. 

    The word critical means that the incident must have had a discernible impact on some outcome; it must make either a positive or negative contribution to the accomplishment of some activity of interest. For example, if we were interested in understanding the use of humor in clinical practice, we might ask a sample of nurses the following questions: “Think of the last time you used humor in your interactions with a hospital patient"

    What led up to the situation? Exactly what did you do? How did the patient react? Why did you feel it would be all right to use a humorous approach? What happened next? The technique differs from other self-report approaches in that it focuses on something specific about which respondents can be expected to testify as expert witnesses. 

    Usually, data on 100 or more critical incidents are collected, but this typically involves interviews with a much smaller number of people because each participant can often describe multiple incidents. The critical incident technique has been used in both individual and focus group interviews.

Diaries and Journals

    Personal diaries have long been used as a source of data in historical research. It is also possible to generate new data for a non historical study by asking study participants to maintain a diary or journal over a specified period. Diaries can be useful in providing an intimate description of a person's everyday life. 

    The diaries may be completely unstructured; for example, individuals who have undergone an organ transplantation could be asked simply to spend 10 to 15 minutes a day jotting down their thoughts and feelings. Frequently, however, subjects are requested to make entries into a diary regarding some specific aspect of their experience, sometimes in a semi structured format. 

    For example, studies of the effect of nutrition during pregnancy on fetal outcomes frequently require subjects to maintain a complete diary of everything they ate over a 1- to 2-week period. Nurse researchers have used health diaries to collect information about how people prevent illness, maintain health, experience morbidity, and treat health problems. 

    Although diaries are very useful means of learning about ongoing experiences, one limitation is that they can be used only by people with adequate literacy skills, although there are examples of studies in which diary entries were audiotaped rather than written out. Diaries also depend on a high level of participant cooperation.

The Think-Aloud Method

    The think-aloud method is a qualitative method that has been used to collect data about cognitive processes, such as thinking, problem-solving, and decision-making. This method involves having people use audio-recording devices to talk about decisions as they are being made or while problems are being solved, over an extended period (eg, throughout a shift). 

    The method produces an inventory of decisions as they occur in a naturalistic context, and allows researchers to examine sequences of decisions or thoughts, as well as the context in which they occur (Fonteyn, Kuipers , & Grober , 1993). Think-aloud procedures have been used in a number of studies of clinical nurses' decisionmaking. The think-aloud method has been used in both naturalistic and simulated settings. 

    Although simulated settings offer the opportunity to control the context of the thought process (eg, presenting people with a common problem to be solved), naturalistic settings offer the best opportunity for understanding clinical processes. 

    Think-aloud sessions are sometimes followed up with personal interviews or focus group interviews in which the tape may be played (or excerpts from the transcript quoted). Participants are then questioned about aspects of their reasoning and decision-making.

Photo Elicitation Interviews

    Photo elicitation involves an interview stimulated and guided by photographic images. This procedure, most often used in ethnographies, has been described as a method that can break down barriers between researchers and study participants, and promote a more collaborative discussion (Harper, 1994). 

    The photographs typically are ones that researchers or associates have made of the participants' world, through which researchers can gain insights into a new culture. Participants may need to be continually reassured that their taken-forgranted explanations of the photos are providing new and useful information. 

    Photo elicitation can also be used with photos that participants have in their homes, although in such cases researchers have less time to frame useful questions, and no opportunity to select the photos that will be the stimulus for discussion. Researchers have also used the technique of asking participants to take photographs themselves and interpret them.

Self Report

    Narratives on the Internet A potentially rich data source for qualitative researchers involves narrative self-reports available on or through the Internet. Data can be requested directly from a large audience of Internet users. For example, researchers can post a web page requesting that people with particular experiences describe them. 

    They can also enter into long conversations with other users in a chat room, or request information through an e-mail listserv that distributes messages to users participating in a network. In some cases data that can be analyzed qualitatively are simply “out there,” as when a researcher enters a chat room or goes to a bulletin board and analyzes the content of the existing, unsolicited messages. 

    Using the Internet to access narrative data has obvious advantages. This approach is economical and allows researchers to obtain information from geographically dispersed and perhaps remote Internet users. However, a number of ethical concerns have been raised, and issues of authenticity need to be considered (Robinson, 2001)

Post a Comment


Give your opinion if have any.

Post a Comment (0)

#buttons=(Ok, Go it!) #days=(20)

Our website uses cookies to enhance your experience. Check Now
Ok, Go it!