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As Unit 3 - Research Methods

8) Evaluation of unstructured interviews


  • The interaction between the participant and the interviewer allows for richer, more valid data. This is because the interviewer can ask follow up questions
  • Also the interaction allow the interviewer to develop a relationship with the participant which could mean they are more open and honest with their answers
  • Ambiguities in an answer can be probed to further understand the meaning of that answer
  • The interviewer can change the questions if, over the course of the study they think the hypothesis should change or they want to take the study in a new direction


  • With unstructured interviews you need a trained interviewer who can only interview one participant at a time, this means this method is time-consuming and costly
  • The interviewer won’t ask exactly the same question every time, so it could be said that this method is less reliable
  • The changing questions also mean it is difficult to replicate the study.
  • The data is qualitative which means it is hard to analyse and compare with other pieces of data

About Sam Cook

A blog set up to help A Level students revise Sociology


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