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Practice Reports

“There are no right or wrong answers”: my experience interviewing a child

For this method practice I chose to use the interview method.  In past research projects, I’ve chosen this method and found it to work well for me, so I felt comfortable enough to conduct an interview and analyze the data afterward. I have experience in interviewing both adults and children ages ranging from 2-13. This served as an advantage to me when conducting this practice because I had prior knowledge on how to phrase questions, how to set a comfortable setting for the interviewee and how to work through awkward pauses.

For this interview I decided to interview my six year old cousin Evan.  I conducted the interview in my room where he usually stays when he visits because I have all the technology there. He is familiar with the space and feels s at home. Before starting the interview I explain to him why I’m doing it and that he has all the freedom he wants when answering the questions meaning there’s no right or wrong answer.  My focus for this interview was to explore how children understand festive holidays and how their culture affects their perspective.

I began my interview by asking, “Why do you celebrate Christmas?” He answered, “hmm because my parents do and my mom puts decorations.”  After he gave that answer he second guessed himself and said, “No, no I celebrate it for the toys.” He found it hard to put into words something he never analyzed before. And even after he changed his answer he said, “Wait no! It’s Jesus’s birthday that’s why.” He laughed and so did I because after he said, “Taisha this is harder than I thought” I reassured him that he was doing great and reinforced that there are no right or wrong answers.  I followed up my first question with, “What is your favorite part about Christmas?” and to my surprise he said, “My favorite part is when everyone comes to my house I like to see their faces because I missed them.” He smiled and then stated, “But my birthday is before Christmas so I like that too.”

The interview went smoothly. Because I know Evan well I knew that he would be well behaved and comfortable enough to tell me if he didn’t understand a question.  I would use this in my group’s research project because it provided honest information that would give both the researcher and reader a better perspective on how people think or feel about a certain topic.


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