24th Annual HPRCT Conference
June 19-22, 2018
Marriott Riverwalk
San Antonio, Texas
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Friday, June 22 • 8:00am - 5:00pm
Clean Interviewing: Keeping Your Stuff Out and Gathering Their Stuff In

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To investigate how the wording of interview questions can unintentionally and unknowingly bias answers, how ‘leading’ questions cast doubt on the authenticity of the data collected, and how you can avoid this by asking ‘clean’ questions. 
The aim of this workshop is for you to learn and integrate the principles of Clean Interviewing and to develop your ability to design and frame clean questions during practice interviews. You will learn how to interview using Clean Language so your interviewees are given maximum opportunity to provide reliable information ‘uncontaminated’ by an interviewer’s framing, presuppositions, and metaphors.  
You will also learn a new process for validating the ‘cleanness’ of an interview thereby increasing the robustness of your methodology.  
Interview technique is vital in a number of research areas. However, the value of the data gathered depends on the quality of questions asked. 

Because asking questions is so common, interviewers can be lulled into believing that interviewing is unproblematic and requires little specialist knowledge. Empirical research shows, however, that even a single word (especially a metaphor) or presupposition can materially ‘lead the witness’.  
Interviewee answers may then be subject to the ‘consistency effect’, the ‘acquiescence bias’, and the ‘friendliness effect’ (Podsakoff, MacKenzie & Podsakoff, 2003). Added to this, the potential for ‘priming’ and ‘confirmation bias’ by the interviewer (Oswald & Grosjean, 2004), can result in a low ‘signal to noise’ ratio at best, and compromised validity at worst.  
Clean Interviewing, an application of Clean Language (Grove & Panzer, 1989), reduces unintended interviewer bias and protects the integrity of interviewee information. Clean questions keep interviewees focused on the research topic without restricting or leading them. It also provides a method for validating the authenticity of the data collected using a ‘cleanness’ rating (Lawley & Linder-Pelz, 2016). This is the only quantitative validity rating of its kind within both causal and academic interview methods.  
Aims & Outcomes  
The workshop will provide the research base and practical activities for participants to learn:  
(1) how bias is unintentionally introduced into an interview 
(2) how to use classically clean questions 
(3) how to construct contextually clean questions which maximize the collection of relevant information 
(4) how to use a cleanness rating instrument to assess the authenticity of the data collected.  
Skills & Activities  
Participants will:  
  • Learn to distinguish between clean and leading questions based on real interview excerpts, allowing them to expand beyond ‘open-closed’ question framework previously learned.  
  • Experience the felt difference between answering clean questions and those containing leading presuppositions and metaphors.  
  • Learn and practice interviewing using clean questions.  
  • Learn and practice using the cleanness rating instrument. 

avatar for Sharon Small

Sharon Small

Clean Language Facilitator and Trainer, The Clean Language Institute
Sharon Small is an independent researcher and internationally recognized Clean Language trainer and assessor. She has over 13 years of experience working in the nuclear industry, a degree in psychology, and background in NLP. She is the author of The End of Therapy, co-editor of... Read More →

Friday June 22, 2018 8:00am - 5:00pm CDT

Attendees (1)