ERIC Number: ED150472
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Aug-26
Reference Count: 0
The Effect of Interviewer Status and Respondent Sex on Symptom Reporting.
Riessman, Catherine K.
This study attempts to answer the following question: Do males and females differ in their reporting behavior to interviewers of contrasting status backgrounds, specifically psychiatric physicians and lay interviewers? Subjects were 200 adults. A 263-item instrument was utilized to measure functional psychological disorder. Interviews took place under three conditions; (1) a physician conducting the interview made his status known; (2) a physician conducting the interview did not make his status known; and (3) lay interviewers were used with their status known. Results indicate that women give the most information about their symptomatology to unidentified physicians, and report the least to identified doctors. Males tend to report more symptoms to identified physician interviewers. It is speculated that social training of the sexes might explain their contrasting performances. Women may be more responsive to interpersonal interaction, and therefore to the interviewing skill of the unidentified physicians. Men may be more responsive to interviewer status, and less to interpersonal skill; consequently, they report more to identified physicians. Also, women may feel threatened by the high status figure, being unaccustomed to lengthy interaction outside of evaluative contexts, and thus lack the trust necessary for self-disclosure in an interview. (Author/JLL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (San Francisco, California, August 26-30, 1977)