Brewer, D. D.
(2002). Supplementary interviewing techniques to maximize output in
free listing tasks. Field Methods, 14, 108-118.
Abstract: Free listing is an
important ethnographic tool for defining semantic domains. However,
when informants free list items from a particular domain, they often do
not mention all items they know because they forget items and/or do not understand that
they should list exhaustively. In this paper, I review results from research
on three supplementary interviewing techniques to encourage full
responding and enhance recall in such tasks (nonspecific prompting, reading back
to the informant the items he or she free listed, and using free-listed
items as semantic cues). These methods increase substantially the number of
items elicited from individual informants and the number of items in a domain
identified from informants in the aggregate. Moreover, these techniques do not
require the interviewer to have any prior domain knowledge to be effective.
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