Interviews Unreliable, Speculative

You shouldn’t rely on what people say in interviews.  For example, Cass R. Sunstein writes in his assessment of Gabriel Zucman’s, The Hidden Wealth of Nations, that “`investigative economics,’ extrapolating  numbers from interviews with private bankers, tax lawyers, and crooks’, involves a high degree of speculation” (New York Review of Books, March 10, 2016).

For a complete assessment of the limits/weaknesses of interviews (and other modes of asking, such as polls, focus groups, customer surveys, etc.) see my book, The Problem with Survey Research.

About georgebeam

George Beam is an educator and author. The perspectives that inform his interpretations of the topics of this blog–-as well as his other writings and university courses -–are system analysis, behaviorism, and Internet effects. Specific interests include quality management, methodology, and politics. He is Associate Professor Emeritus, Department of Public Administration; Affiliated Faculty, Department of Political Science; and, previously, Head, Department of Public Administration, University of Illinois at Chicago
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