Response – Armchair – Interview

A researcher can ask informants about how they would typically react to 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 and compliment responses. 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 how people react to compliments in real situations, they may be interesting and worthy of investigation.

If the question about typical responses is asked in the form of a questionnaire with sample compliments, the method is the same as in a discourse completion test (Response – Laboratory – DCTs).