On Friday, July 26…
I have been at my site for two weeks now. I finished piloting surveys with my relatives and made some adjustments to my research method according to their feedback and Professor Hachen's advice. I had planned to do surveys first, and then interviews, but now I combine the two methods and use both with each of my interviewees, unless they refuse to do interviews. I have already completed surveys and interviews with 12 participants. Typically, I do two surveys per day.
While conducting interviews, I have noticed that my participants do not always answer my questions in the way that I expect, so I have had to adjust my questions to make sure I get the answers I am looking for. For example, I have a question asking, "Are you satisfied with your current life." I had expected them to tell me about their emotional and psychological well-being, but almost all of them answered with whether or not they are satisfied with their physical life and well-being. Thus, I always ask a follow-up question on how they feel emotionally. Now I understand the importance of being flexible during interviews.
The biggest challenge for me right now is to get my participants to talk more during interviews. A lot of my participants answer questions simply using yes or no because they do not know how to answer. Therefore, I am trying to ask questions using their dialect so that they feel able to say more. I also try to make them less nervous and try to conduct the interviews more like conversations with a friend.