ERIC Number: ED232219
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Critical Incident Technique: A Description of the Method.
Critical Incident Technique (CIT) involves the collection of real-world examples of behavior that characterize either very effective or very ineffective performance of some activity. The principal advantage of the CIT is that it generates data based on actual behavior rather than on a particular researcher's subjectivity. The CIT has much to offer speech communication researchers, especially those in the applied communication area where the stress is on what actually works in real-world settings. Using the CIT, the research should collect and interpret examples of behavior from a sample before reviewing much of the existing literature on the subject. Questionnaire respondents should be told to think of recent examples related to the phenomenon being studied that stand out in their minds. These incidents are then subject to the equivalent of a content or factor analysis, sorted into a comprehensive list of behaviors. The researcher may elect to end the study and report or act on the findings, or he or she may take an additional step. To ensure that all distinct behaviors in the incidents were identified, to ensure there are no overlapping or repetitive categories, and to check on the appropriateness of the summary statements, the categories must be taken to either the original or a new set of subjects. If a more precise follow up is desired, the researcher may then examine methods developed by other researchers. (HTH)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern Speech Communication Association (Lincoln, NE, April 7-9, 1983).