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Self-Reports

Definition

The term self-reports refers to information that is collected from an individual's own description of the events, sensations, or beliefs under scrutiny. SelfReports may be collected with any of several different methods: for example, surveys and questionnaires, electronic diaries, and clinical interviews. Self-reports are distinguished from other methods of data collection because their only source is the respondent's personal account.

Issues Surrounding the Use of Self-Reports

Most researchers agree that it is naive to believe that all self-reports are fully accurate. However, it is also simplistic to assume that because self-reports can be erroneous, they are not valuable or informative. A better approach is to attend closely to the various cognitive and motivational factors that influence people's ability and willingness to report on their beliefs, feelings, and ...

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