|Emphasized the effect and importance of following good examples.|
|Was of great financial help just at a time when life had become very difficult.|
Interviewing on the Jamaica Family Life Project proved to be a two way investment. It paid off both in terms of development of interviewers' personalities and widening and stimulating thought on general family living among respondents. This can perhaps be measured in terms of the mental and physical discipline that was achieved by the effects of a course of intensive training in interviewing techniques accelerated by refresher courses during the various periods in the three stages of interviewing. Thus interviewers were able to understand the importance and significance of establishing rapport among themselves as a working group; and particularly with the respondents in dealing with difficult cases--whether the difficulty lay in lack of comprehension of the interview situation, or in removing fears and superstitions regarding the interviewer's presence in any given area. The extent of personal sacrifice, application to duty, and interest of the workers can never be over-estimated. It is a pity that time is so short, because the stories which went to make the project a living example of "bringing out the good in the worst of us, and the bad in the best of us" and the reality and joy in finding an emotional level with any other human being regardless of race, colour, or class, may never appear in print.19
|a.||Personality type such as to inspire confidence and to put lower-class persons at ease. It is especially important that the interviewer be of the type who herself feels at home and can act at home with lower-class persons in city and country.|
|b.||b) Objectivity; no moral biases.|
In the screening interview itself, candidates were further examined for evidence of excessive missionary zeal, attitudes of condescension toward the lower class, rigidity, etc. During the training, objectivity of approach combined with personal warmth and respect for the respondent received strong emphasis.
We naturally did not rely solely on these processes, but also attempted to build in mechanisms to maximize veracity. Where possible, for example, we tested the respondent rather than take her word on a subject. Thus, those respondents who said that they could read were, at one point in the interview, handed a recent copy of a Jamaican newspaper and asked what they thought about the headlines. They were then graded on comprehension by the interviewer. (This was handled in such a way that the average respondent did not know she was being tested. The headlines--large enough for those with poor vision--referred to birth control and the newspaper was handed to the respondent with the words, "By the way, have you seen this? What do you think of it?") Again, when respondents said they had heard of a contraceptive device mentioned by the interviewer, they were asked whether it was used by the male or female and how it was used. Here, too, their knowledge was rated by the interviewer.
Question wording and sequence also helped the respondent to discuss delicate and confidential matters. As one example, our universe was defined as mated women, whether in a married, common-law, or "visiting" relation. By means of a five-minute pre-list interview, we had to discover, among other things, whether a woman was single or in one of the three above-mentioned sexual relationships. The following procedure was used:____________________