The Science of Self-report
Implications for Research and Practice
Edited by Arthur A. Stone, Christine A. Bachrach, Jared B. Jobe, Howard S. Kurtzman, Virginia S. Cain
Psychology Press – 1999 – 392 pages
Rigorous methodological techniques have been developed in the last decade to improve the reliability and accuracy of self reports from research volunteers and patients about their pain, mood, substance abuse history, or dietary habits. This book presents cutting-edge research on optimal methods for obtaining self-reported information for use in the evaluation of scientific hypothesis, in therapeutic interventions, and in the development of prognostic indicators.
Self-reports constitute critically important data for research and practice in many fields. As the chapters in this volume document, psychological and social processes influence the storage and recall of self-report information. There are conditions under which self-reports should be readily accepted by the clinician or researcher, and other conditions where healthy scepticism is required. The chapters demonstrate methods for improving the accuracy of self-reports, ranging from fine-tuning interviews and questionnaires to employing emerging technologies to collect data in ways that minimize bias and encourage accurate reporting.
Representing a diverse group of disciplines including sociology, law, psychology, and medicine, the distinguished authors offer crucial food for thought to all those whose work depends on the accurate self-reports of others.
"…this volume contains many informative chapters….there is still enough to like about this book to spend time with it and consider carefully the issues. The volume is broad in its scope and should be of interest to researchers and clinicians alike."
"Many researchers and clinicians may be hesitant to fully acknowledge the difficulties of amassing data through surveys, questionnaires, and interviews simply because the alternatives are often so unattractive. The Science of Self-Report finds its value by generating awareness of these complications."
Contents: Preface. Part I: J.S. Turkkan, General Issues in Self-Report. W. Baldwin, Information No One Else Knows: The Value of Self-Report. D.M. Bersoff, D.N. Bersoff, Ethical Issues in the Collection of Self-Report Data. Part II: J.B. Jobe, Cognitive Processes in Self-Report. R. Tourangeau, Remembering What Happened: Memory Errors and Survey Reports. N.M. Bradburn, Temporal Representation and Event Dating. G. Menon, E.A. Yorkston, The Use of Memory and Contextual Cues in the Formation of Behavioral Frequency Judgments. J.F. Kihlstrom, E. Eich, D. Sandbrand, B.A. Tobias, Emotion and Memory: Implications for Self-Report. Part III: C.A. Bachrach, Self-Reporting Sensitive Events and Characteristics. N.C. Schaeffer, Asking Questions About Threatening Topics: A Selective Overview. H.G. Miller, J.N. Gribble, L.C. Mazade, S.M. Rogers, C.F. Turner, The Association Between Self-Reports of Abortion and Breast Cancer Risk: Fact or Artifact. Part IV: V.S. Cain, Special Issues on Self-Report. D.S. Massey, When Surveys Fail: An Alternative for Data Collection. J. Blair, Assessing Protocols for Child Interviews. J.C. Anthony, Y.D. Neumark, M.L. Van Etten, Do I Do What I Say? A Perspective on Self-Report Methods in Drug Dependence Epidemiology. Part V: J.S. Turkkan, Self-Report of Distant Memories. E.F. Loftus, Suggestion, Imagination, and the Transformation of Reality. L.M. Williams, J.A. Siegel, J.J. Pomeroy, Validity of Women's Self-Reports of Documented Child Sexual Abuse. Part VI: H.S. Kurtzman, Self-Reporting of Health Behaviors and Psychiatric Symptoms. R.C. Kessler, H-U. Wittchen, J. Abelson, S. Zhao, Methodological Issues in Assessing Psychiatric Disorders With Self-Reports. C.S. Rand, "I Took the Medicine Like You Told Me, Doctor": Self-Report of Adherence With Medical Regimes. S. Shiffman, Real-Time Self-Report of Momentary States in the Natural Environment: Computerized Ecological Momentary Assessment. Part VII: A.A. Stone, Self-Reporting of Physical Symptoms. J.W. Pennebaker, Psychological Factors Influencing the Reporting of Physical Symptoms. F.J. Keefe, Self-Report of Pain: Issues and Opportunities. A.J. Barsky, The Validity of Bodily Symptoms in Medical Outpatients.