Object – Armchair – Interview

A researcher can ask informants about which objects they are most likely to pay or receive compliments. It is difficult to assess the reliability of the answers. They are certainly not empirical in the sense that they would answer these questions in any straightforward way. But the answers may nevertheless be interesting because they tell us something about native speaker perceptions of compliments. If a large number of informants is interviewed, a pattern may emerge of popular believes about this topic. As long as the popular believes are not mistaken for the empirical facts of what objects people actually are most likely to compliment on, they may be interesting and worthy of investigation.