Some common examples of a self report are questionnaires and interviews. A self report is done without interference from an outside source, such as an interviewer or researcher. This enables self-reporters to give personal observations rather than inferring appropriate answers from or being influenced by other participants.
Questionnaires are written forms of self reporting in which participants record their answers. An interview is an oral form of self reporting in which an interviewer asks the participant questions and records the answers. Both forms can have open questions, closed questions or a mix of both.
Open questions are those that ask the participant to provide his or her own answers. There is also an opportunity for the participant to qualify the answer with more details. Open questions give more in-depth responses because the participant is not restricted by categories or a minimal selection of answers.
Closed questions are most commonly seen on questionnaires. Participants read a question then select an answer. There is usually no opportunity for an explanation as to why that answer was given. While this data might be easy to analyze, closed questions do not offer much in the way of specific details.
The most successful type of self reporting consists of a mixture of both open and closed questions. By allowing participants to explain answers, analysts can gain a clearer picture of the meaning behind the results.