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Dictionary

SELF-REPORT STUDY

Nigel G. Fielding

A study in which respondents report their own behaviour. For example, in self-report studies of criminal behaviour, respondents are asked to declare if they have committed criminal offences. Self-report studies are often done for comparison with official records. A self-report study is used where the point of interest is in comparing official or organizational records with alternative measures of behaviour. Examples include research on physical and mental health, and voting behaviour. Self-report studies are particularly prominent in research on crime. The validity of official criminal statistics is limited by omissions and bias; a self-report study offers the promise of data free of these problems. For example, respondents may be asked if they have committed offences during a set period (often the past 12 months) and, if they have, how often. Self-report studies are conducted using self-completion questionnaires or by interview (Jupp, 1996). The research instrument is usually a list of ...

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