Advantage And Limitations Of Interviews – Coursework Example

Research Methods al Affiliation) Interviews and Questionnaires The accuracy of information distributed is dependent on the data used to derive such information (Cargan, 2007). In addition, the data is derived from research methods. Therefore, the efficacy of research methods dictates the viability of the eventual information. Data collection may take the form of primary or secondary research. Interviews and questionnaires fall under primary research whereby the researcher approaches the respondents, that is, the respondents are the source of data (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007).
When conducting social research, interviews provide the best possible source of data. However, they are effective solely or supplemented by other methods due to their inherent advantages and limitations respectively. Interviews provide room for direct feedback from respondents. The interviewer probes the respondent; hence, obtaining rich data and insights. In addition, the interviewer and respondent establish a relationship that ensures they develop a rapport. The level of interaction enables the two to be flexible in relation to the time, location, and the means of communication.
The inherent disadvantage of conducting interviews during social research is that they are time-consuming as they involve communicating with one respondent at a time. In addition, the interviewers may either give contradicting information or fail to participate in the interview in case the interview touches on information considered sensitive to them. As such, the interviewing process requires that the interviewer and respondent establish a level of trust by issuing informed consent.
Survey research involves selecting a population to provide the necessary data through questionnaires. Questionnaires are time saving because it provides data from multiple data sets within a short span. The multiple sets of data ensure that information is accurate because it reduces the chances of bias among the answers provided for similar questions. However, the effectiveness of questionnaires depends on the questions asked. Good questions bring forth good answers, and bad questions bad answers and respondents are limited to the questions asked (no room for expansion). In addition, some people may disregard the questionnaires if they feel that their opinions would not make a difference due to the large numbers of respondents (De Vaus, 2002).
Interviews are comprehensive as compared to questionnaires. They derive objective information because the interviewer has the discretion to structure the questions to suit different interviewees. On the other hand, questionnaires ask similar questions to multiple people; hence, do not allow room for expanding one’s opinion. Therefore, interviews are preferable to questionnaires because they are thorough and concise.
Cargan, L. (2007). Doing social research. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Creswell, J., & Plano Clark, V. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications.
De Vaus, D. (2002). Surveys in social research. London: Routledge.