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By Giampietro Gobo

Attractive and informative, this book provides scholars and researchers with a realistic, new standpoint at the strategy of gathering survey facts. via offering a post-positivist, interviewee-centred procedure, it improves the standard and effect of survey info via emphasising the interplay among interviewer and interviewee. Extending the normal technique with contributions from linguistics, anthropology, cognitive experiences and ethnomethodology, Gobo and Mauceri examine the answering technique in dependent interviews outfitted round questionnaires.

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Now that it is possible to produce a great number of complex statistical analyses in a few hours, the psychological need for this guarantee has gone. Indeed, on reading research reports, one gains the impression that increasingly sophisticated statistical techniques are applied to increasingly inferior or inadequate data (Marradi 1984: 4). The 1970s saw a dramatic decline in the methodological analysis of the questionnaire as a tool, which had so dominated the scene in the 1950s. indd 15 25-Mar-14 1:37:33 PM 16 Constructing survey data collecting information for the construction of data.

Indd 31 25-Mar-14 1:37:38 PM 32 Constructing survey data c) When should statistical representativeness be estimated? ) Kendall and Buckland (1960) complained of the confusion between two dimensions: prescriptive (seeking representativeness as a necessary methodological aim) and empirical (labelling as representative samples not subjected to evaluation criteria). This confusion, which exists even now, is reflected in scientific language and communication, where samples are designated as representative when they are anything but, for fear that defining a sample as non-representative would mean leaving the realm of science (Campbell and Stanley 1979: 19).

The members of Likert’s staff (in particular Charles F. Cannell and Victor C. Raimy) learned from Rogers how to formulate interviewee-centred probes and how to use pauses and silences as communication devices. Likert’s researchers also paid close attention to procedures for codifying the narrative materials collected by open-ended questions. But they soon discovered the long, drawnout and laborious nature of these procedures. It was also their practice to include some of the interviewees’ comments in their research reports in order to clarify the types of responses and the types of interviewees.

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