research methodologies |

Self-Report Measures


These are data collection techniques that are widely implemented in psychological studies. They consists of measures where a person is exposed to a set of questions that they are expected to answer either through an interview or questionnaire (Razavi, 2001). They are two common types of self-report measures both of which will be discussed in the following passages. They will be compared against each other and the unique qualities of each, determined.

Free-Format Self-Report Measures

If I were a researcher, I would pick Open-ended questions as my preferred free format self-report measure of choice. Though time-consuming and kind of a little bit tedious, this method provides more insight into the subject matter by allowing the participants to freely share their thought processes and feelings without any hold-backs (Bradburn, Sudman, & Wansink, 2004). I would probably stick with the same option as a participant since as human beings, all we wish for is to be part of something and being able to freely share my opinions without constraints fulfills this need. The drawbacks of these types of self-report measures, though, is that it becomes too difficult to convert each and every single participant’s opinions into measureable variables.

Fixed-Format Self-Report Measures

In this type of self-report measure, participants are still expected to answer questions; though these questions are a bit different than those in free format self-report measures because they possess a more structured composition. My preferred measure in this case is the Likert scale. This is mainly because of the fact that it is quite simple to apply and also just as easy to interpret as well. The scale involves a series of choices that depict whether the participant agrees or disagrees with the variable to be measure and also offers a neutral point; where the participant neither agrees nor disagrees with the subject matter (Esterman, 2003). As a participant I would still stick to the Likert scale; if I were to even choose fixed format self-report measures for that matter. This is because the Likert scale is commonly used hence proving its sense of credibility and reliability.


Bradburn, N., Sudman, S., & Wansink, B. (2004). Asking questions. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Esterman, A. (2003). The Likert scale. Canberra: Australasian Epidemiological Association.

Razavi, T. (2001). Self-report measures. Southampton: School of Management, University of Southampton.

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