“I became a journalist to come as close as possible to the heart of the world.” – Henry Luce

Wednesday, 20 July 2016



Intensive interviews, or in-depth interviews, are essentially a hybrid of the one-on-one interview approach.
Intensive interviews are unique for these reasons:
·         They generally use smaller samples.
·         They provide detailed background about the reasons respondents give specific answers.
·         They allow for lengthy observation of respondents' nonverbal responses respondents' opinions, values, motivations, recollections, experiences, and feelings are obtained.
·         They are usually long. an inten­sive interview may last several hours and may take more than one session.
·         In a personal interview, all respondents are usually asked the same questions. Intensive interviews allow interviewers to form questions based on each respondent's answers.
·         The success of intensive interviews depends on the rapport established between the inter­viewer and the respondent.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Intensive Interviews
1.      The most important advantage of the in-depth interview is the wealth of detail that it provides.
2.      Inten­sive interviewing provides more accurate responses on sensitive issues.
3.      The rapport between respondent and interviewer makes it easier to approach certain topics that might be taboo in other approaches.

1.      Intensive interview­ing is typically done with a nonrandom sample.
2.      Since interviews are usually non-standardized, each respondent may answer a slightly different version of a question. In fact, it is likely that a particular respondent may answer questions not asked of any other respondent.
3.      They are espe­cially sensitive to interviewer bias. In a long interview, it is possible for a respondent to learn a good deal of information about the interviewer.
4.       Despite practice and training, some interviewers may inadvertently (by unconsciously)   com­municate their attitudes through loaded questions, nonverbal cues, or tone of voice.
5.       The effect of this on the validity of a respon­dent's answers is difficult to gauge.
6.      Finally, intensive interviewing presents problems in data analysis.
·    The problem definition, respondent recruit­ing, and data collection and analysis proce­dures for intensive interviews are similar to those used in personal interviews.

·         The amount of data collected is tre­mendous, and analysis may take sev­eral weeks to several months.
·         Interviewees may become tired and bored.
·         Because of the time required, it is dif­ficult to arrange intensive interviews, particularly for respondents who are professionals.
·         Small samples do not allow for gener­alization to the target population.

Examples of Intensive Interviews
Harrington (2003) conducted intensive in­terviews with a dozen individuals familiar with the storylines on the soap opera All My Children concerning the series' portrayal of homosexuality. Phalen (2000) carried out two-hour interviews with 14 female man­agers at radio and television stations. The responses to her open-ended questions sug­gested that her respondents experienced bias against female managers and instances of sexual harassment. Lewis (2008) con­ducted intensive interviews with eight jour­nalists who had either lost their jobs or were suspended due to plagiarism accusa­tions. He found that part of the problem was the vague way that plagiarism was de­fined. These three studies illustrate the util­ity of the intensive interviewing technique when it comes to examining potentially sensitive issues.

Intensive Interviewing Online
The interviewer can post one or more questions, and the respondent can take as long as he or she likes to answer. The extra time can allow respondents to reflect about their answers and may provide the researcher with richer content and additional insights.

Another benefit is that interviews can be conducted with people over a wide geographic area, without travel expenses.
Finally, this method may be helpful in collecting data from peo­ple who might be uncomfortable in a face-to-face situation.

Weaknesses are associ­ated with this technique.
 First, it takes lon­ger than a face-to-face session and generates less data.
The quality of the data is strongly influenced by the typing and reading skills of the respondent.
Intensive interviews can also be done in real-time using a web cam where the inter­viewer and respondent can see one another.
In addition, the interviewer can more easily ask follow-up questions.


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