Problematic interviewee behaviors in qualitative research

Melinda Collins, Mona Shattell, Sandra P. Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


The interview is a staple of many qualitative approaches. Although textbooks offer extensive guidance to researchers about conducting interviews, less guidance is available about problematic interviewee behaviors, such as flattery or statements indicative of social desirability response bias. In this study, a secondary analysis of 22 phenomenological interview transcripts, we sought to examine problematic interviewee behaviors. More than 300 pages of typed text were subjected to line-by-line scrutiny, yielding only six potential instances of the phenomenon. Each could be interpreted several ways. What appeared to be flattery could also be perceived as simple gratitude or appreciation. We concluded that problematic behavior was rare in this data set.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)188-199
Number of pages12
JournalWestern journal of nursing research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Phenomenological study
  • Qualitative interviewing
  • Social desirability
  • Validity threats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Problematic interviewee behaviors in qualitative research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this