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Self Report Measures in Research Methods

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Self Report Measures in Research Methods

Free-Format Self Report Measures

            These are a kind of measured variables that are used in behavioral studies. Free format self report involves collecting information from respondents where they are asked to list the thoughts in their minds freely or their feelings. This report measure allows respondents to indicate any thoughts or ideas they have regarding the topic of discussion with minimum interference and pressure except the effort used in writing (Kanfer, Ackerman & Cudeck, 2014).

Fixed-Format Self Report Measures

            This is a kind of Self Report measure variable where a respondent is given a number of questions where the requested answers are relatively structured. In some scenarios, the information requested by the questions (also called items) is unambiguous and can be obtained by one item, for example where one is required to identify his or her nationality from a set. The results from fixed-format self-report measures can be quantified where the report contains more than one item (Stangor, 2015).

Comparison of the Advantages

Free-format Self Report advantagesFixed-format Self Report advantages
·         The method is unbiased since the researcher does not impose their ideas on what they expect the respondent to say.·         Through the researcher forcing the choices on the respondent, there is minimal deviation from the topic and the answers can be classified quantitatively.
·         Since the method is exploratory in nature, it allows the researcher conceptualize the topic of the study quickly.·         The method is cost effective in terms of time since it requires less time and effort from both the participant and the respondent.
·         The researcher is able to gather all relevant information for the study from the participant since the respondent is not subjected to any particular set of questions·         There exists an already developed model of response format and measurement procedures that are readily available for the researcher and the respondent
  1. B

The fixed-format self-report measure would be preferred over the over free-format self-report measure in a research involving the measure of self-esteem. This is because a respondent cannot be able to express their own feeling and thoughts of their self-esteem but there needs to be something to trigger their thoughts in such a manner that the researcher is able to identify the level of self-esteem. In free-format measure, this cannot be achieved due to their limitation in generating quantifiable data hence no substantial information can be obtained regarding the level of self-esteem. On the other hand, fixed-format format self report allows use of predesigned scales which may be used to measure the response given to various items of the scale. The method also allows quantification of data through averaging or summing and is able to present statistical results for the information (Stangor, 2015).

If I was the researcher for the study, I would prefer to administer to Likert Scale. This is because measuring the self-esteem of individuals would involve asking a set of different questions after which the answers are quantified and classified. The likert scale contains items which show the degree of agreeing or disagree with a specific issue that the researcher wishes to measure. This will assist me to measure the responses given by the participants through the predesigned self-esteem Likert scales. Self-esteem can be measured from subjecting the participants to a set of questions where their answers are structured in a range of “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree”. The Likert scale would enable me to identify the variation among the given answers from the predefined weight of each question hence increasing my ability to identify whether a participant has high or low self-esteem.


Kanfer, R., Ackerman, P. & Cudeck, R. (2014). Abilities, motivation, and methodology. New York: Psychology Press.

Stangor, C. (2015). Research methods for the behavioral sciences. Australia Stamford, CT: Cengage Learning.

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