Malformalized methods - Psychodiagnostics. Theory and practice

Malformed methods

Consider some methods that are combined with the concept of "little-formalized diagnostics". These include observation, conversation, analysis of products of activity. These methods are often underestimated in psychodiagnostics. Often both in everyday life and in the professional environment, it is believed that diagnostics reduces to testing, without assuming that one can not rely entirely on the results of standardized methods. Other sources of information are needed that supplement and develop information that are obtained through a strictly formalized diagnosis.

Observation is the oldest and invariably important method of a psychologist. With its help you can get extensive information about a person. It is indispensable in all cases where standardized procedures are not developed or known. The importance of observation is better understood by other clinical and child psychologists, for whom this method is hardly basic (but they most often do not consider it to be diagnostic).

Meanwhile, professional psychodiagnostics see the value and perspective of the method of observation, without which no practical psychologist can do. Thus, the prominent American psychodiagnostic A. Anastasi writes: "Direct observation of behavior plays a significant role in obtaining personal characteristics, whether in a clinic, counseling center, classroom, personnel department or in any situation requiring personal evaluations." According to Anastasi, surveillance has a number of advantages over standardized methods. After all, the test, she writes, is also an observation, only estimating small samples of behavior. And observation makes it possible to consider more extensive samples of behavior, i.e. to investigate behavior in many different situations, in the whole breadth of its manifestations. A. Anastasi as an illustration of this thesis as an extreme case compares the predictive capabilities of the test, the time of which is 1-2 hours, and the observation, conducted from the moment of birth for 30 years with the recording of all the small things and circumstances of life. No doubt, long-term observation more accurately predicts the future behavior of an individual than short-term testing, she believes.

Another advantage of the method of observation is that already in its very process, the diagnostician can select the essential one and separate it from the secondary in the behavior, focusing on the first.

The advantage of observing other methods is also the naturalness of the conditions for conducting it, and it is not necessary to establish contact and cooperation with the subject, create motivation and get his consent to the examination. It should be emphasized that often these tasks in the work of psychodiagnostics are difficult and depend to the greatest extent on the personal characteristics of the psychologist. At the same time, the naturalness of the situation in which observation is conducted is due to the fact that the psychologist does not control the situation, but passively follows its changes, which can be attributed to the shortcomings of the method.

Observation is different and next to other significant from the point of view of psychodiagnost shortcomings. One of them is that it takes a lot of time to get diagnostic information. The method of observation can not be attributed to express methods. Depending on the purpose and nature of the observation, observation can be long, long-term, taking into account many aspects of behavior (for example, the diary method) or consist of many alternating periods, different in time (from several minutes to several hours). For example, the American psychologist N. Inamoto observed daily the behavior of Japanese and American mothers caring for infants for three years, and based on the data obtained, she showed how the characteristics of care and upbringing stimulate the formation of various personality traits useful for adaptation in different cultures.

Another drawback of observation is that its results are usually qualitative, difficult to formalize, and therefore it is difficult to compare different subjects. However, psychodiagnostics develop so-called evaluation scales, ie. standardized observation schemes that allow to detect the levels of development of individual qualitative personal characteristics, and level analysis allows not only to compare individual data with a single criterion, but also to compare them among themselves. So built, for example, known to practical psychologists Observation Map D. Stott, designed to identify signs of disadaptation in schoolchildren. This technique is especially useful if the supervisor is a teacher who naturally fits into the school environment and spends a lot of time with students. It presents 16 characteristics (sides) of disadaptation, each of which the teacher should evaluate by behavioral manifestations, also described in the Map. So, one of the highlighted sides of disadaptation is called Hostility towards other children & quot ;. Below is a list of behavioral manifestations of this trait.

1. It hinders other children in games, makes fun of them, loves to frighten them.

2. At times, it is very unkind to children who do not belong to a close circle of his communication.

3. Bothers with other children, stick to them.

4. Quarrels, offends other children.

5. Attempts to create certain difficulties for other children with his remarks.

6. Hides or destroys items belonging to other children.

7. It is mainly in bad relationships with other children.

8. Clings to weaker children.

9. Other children do not like a hundred or even do not tolerate. Y. They are not in the proper way (bites, scratches, etc.).

Observing the pupil in various school and out-of-school situations, during lessons, changes, when communicating with children and adults, the teacher notes the presence of the features highlighted in the Card on a special form. The analysis of these markings allows to find out whether the pupil has minor violations and adaptations or there are signs of serious inadaptability.

Such a verified standardized observation circuit not only makes it possible to compare the results obtained with their help with the evaluation criteria, but also to a certain extent increase the accuracy of the interpretation of the data obtained, and reduce the level of subjectivity of their interpretation. After all, it is the subjectivism of analysis and interpretation of the results that appears to be the main drawback of the method of observation. The observing psychologist is himself a "measuring instrument", and the results of observation are more dependent on his experience, knowledge, abilities and abilities to observe, and more, than the results of strictly formalized methods. Therefore, some researchers believe that the results of the observation are more about the observer than about whom they are watching.

So, one of the mistakes that arise in an inexperienced psychologist is the so-called halo effect . It refers to the tendency of individuals to succumb to the excessive influence of one property of a personality or behavioral peculiarity that causes a favorable or unfavorable attitude toward the observed individual and color their judgments about all other features.

Another mistake that can occur in an inexperienced psychodiagnost when analyzing the results of an observation is the laxity error, expressed in the reluctance to give negative assessments to individuals for whom he observes.

The noted shortcomings of the method of observation require, on the one hand, the special training of psychologists using it, and on the other hand, the special care and rigor of the development of observation schemes.

Psychologists put forward a number of requirements that should be observed in order to reduce the likelihood of subjectivity in obtaining and interpreting the results of observation. The domestic psychologist M. Ya. Basov published in 1925 the work "Method of psychological observation of children". In it, he highlighted the most important questions arising in the development of the "objective observation method." They relate to the very process of observation and to the individual characteristics of the observer, the subject of observation and the ways of fixing the results, and to the processing of the results of observation. According to BM Teplov, the method of psychological observations of M.Ya. Basov was the only scientific development of this method in the world literature. This estimate is still valid.

The question of the subject of observation is the question of what is to be observed. M. Ya. Basov, the subject of observation, calls behavior as a continuous chain of separate acts interconnected with each other. When observing, it is necessary to identify this relationship, the nature of the prevailing incentives that cause individual acts, as well as the form, content and quality of these acts.

The subject content of observation can be quite general, broad, and can be narrow and private. As an example, we can cite the levels of substantive content identified by M. Ya. Basov, which can become the goal of monitoring a child. The main goal is to study the personality of the child in all its manifestations. This common goal can break up for several particular purposes:

- monitoring the development of the personality of the child;

- observation of his individual psychological characteristics;

- watching for one side of the child's personality, for example, emotional.

It is much easier and easier to conduct observations pursuing narrowly restricted goals than those in which the goal is general, if the observer knows in what kinds of behavior, in what kinds of occupations, the parties of interest can manifest themselves. If the observer does not know this, special studies will be required to identify them. And in this case, the purpose of observation will not be the personality of the child as a whole or in any aspect, but the various types of his activity, occupations in terms of their psychological composition. In other words, the observer should find out which, for example, the sides of the personality can be identified when the child draws, molds, participates in construction games, in mobile games, listens to fairy tales, etc.

Before observing, it is necessary to single out from the general picture of behavior certain of its sides, separate acts available to direct observation (units of behavior), which are units of observation. These units of behavior in search observation can be more difficult, in the exploratory - it's easier. So, observing behavior in general, the researcher nevertheless divides it into a number of units: motor skills, speech, communication, emotions, etc. If only the child's speech is the object of observation, then the content of speech, its direction, duration, expressiveness, features of the lexical, grammatical and phonetic structure, etc., can be units. Thus, the units of observation can significantly differ in the magnitude and complexity of the selected fragment of behavior, and also in content.

Discussing the question of the methods of fixation, M. Ya. Basov emphasizes the need for a complete verbal description (photographic record) without generalizations and personal introductions of the observer. Each reaction and each feature must be recorded. Since different observers can use the same words in descriptions, but in different senses, and in different expressions to clothe the same thought, it is necessary to clarify the meaning of the words used and their connection with the designated objects. Basov raises in connection with this the problem of educating the culture of the observer.

When interpreting the results, it is necessary to move from a description of behavioral manifestations to a system of psychological concepts, i.e. to psychological traits and processes, to the description of personality and individuality.

In the US, Raymond Cattell, who widely used the observation method to create questionnaires, formulated a number of requirements for his procedure. They are as follows:

1) human behavior should be evaluated in many of its roles and situations, from different sides; Therefore, observation should be long, at least two to three months daily, but with different, depending on the purpose, duration of observation periods (from several minutes to several hours); carrying out repeated systematic observations in various situations will allow to separate random coincidences from stable regular connections;

2) in advance, the personality traits and the features of behavior should be distinguished, by which they can be evaluated;

3) it is impossible to make hasty conclusions, it is necessary to put forward and test alternative assumptions about the reality that is behind the observed fact;

4) the observer must pre-pass a special training course;

5) for the impartiality of the evaluation, the role relations between the observer and the observed should be excluded;

6) for the accuracy of the results of evaluators should be at least 10, and the final estimate should represent the average of their observations, and the estimates should be independent; the more observers, the more objective the result.

Observation can be of two types. The first is uncontrolled observation, conducted in everyday life, characterized by an unsystematic and accidental accumulation of data. Such observation is biased, often carried out in a limited number of situations, its results are not recorded, depend on acquaintance with the observed person and are not assessed in comparison with any sufficiently objective criterion, but on the basis of the observer's own limited experience. This kind of observation, unorganized and naive, can not be considered scientific. But in everyday life, it is often resorted to when there is no other way to get information about a person.

The second type is scientific observation, used by psychodiagnostics, it differs from the above with the following features:

1) the presence of the goal, task and object of observation; psychodiagnostics must first determine what it will observe (for what object), with what purpose and for the solution of which task; for example, the object of observation - the student's behavior and external symptoms of anxiety; the goal is to identify the factors that cause anxiety, anxiety in the student; the task is to observe the external manifestations and behavior of the schoolchild in different educational and extra-curricular situations;

2) a preliminary choice of situations for observation; for example, follow the student in the classroom, during the break, during the answer at the board, during the execution of tests, in the exam, in extra-curricular games, etc.

3) the need to establish in advance the relationship of external symptoms and behaviors with the psychological characteristics that need to be evaluated (ie, move from a psychological characteristic to behavioral manifestations);

4) the choice and categorization of behavioral manifestations and external symptoms, followed by observation; these are any external signs on which it is possible to draw a conclusion about the severity of the desired psychological property; in the example given - a trembling voice, a change in the color of the skin, tremor of the hands;

5) the choice of a way of fixing the parameters of observation - the presence of a sign or the degree of its expression; the choice of methods and forms of describing the observation depends on whether it is a search or research character, but there are some general requirements for recording an observation.

First, the record should record the observed fact in the form in which it existed realistically, without substituting it for describing the personal impressions and various judgments of the observer himself. In other words, you only need to record what was and how (photographic record).

Secondly, the record should record not only the observed fact, but also that the surrounding environment (background), in which it occurred.

Thirdly, the record should, if possible, be fully consistent with the stated goal reflect the studied reality.

To improve the accuracy of observation, one should strive to express the personal qualities that should be described, and the parameters that need to be fixed, in extremely specific terms. So, if only the name of the quality or its general definition is given, its treatment with respect to different individuals that are being monitored may change. For example, the definition of honesty as adherence to established norms is vague, vague, it is difficult to apply in the monitoring process. If a description of the list of behavioral manifestations of this trait is given, the results of the observation will be more accurate.

Example

Honesty is:

1) the child, making a purchase, returns the weight of small money;

2) never cheats from friends;

3) does not allow bad talk about his friends;

4) The game does not cheat and so on.

It is also desirable to use rating scales, when evaluating observation parameters, that is, to record the degree of their expression. Evaluation of the degree of presence of the trait can be qualitative or quantitative. Thus, by developing the Scale of Evaluation of the Basic Characteristics of the Personality, Tomé provided nine qualitative steps for each of them.

For example, for such a feature as reactivity, he singled out the following steps: 1) dull (apathetic); 2) indifferent, listless; 3) difficult to excite; 4) slowly reacting; 5) superficially reacting; 6) excitable, reactive, resourceful; 7) with a stand, a constant readiness for reaction; 8) Impressive, passionate; 9) superexcitable.

The quantitative way of the evaluation of the severity of the signs by the designation method is numeric (the number of steps - , the higher the degree of presence), graphic (in the form of a straight segment divided into several sections) or is an scale of adjectives.

Example

Quantitative: Activity 1 2 3 4 5.

Graphical: passive 1_2_3_4_5 active.

The scale of adjectives describes either the intensity or the frequency of appearance of the observed trait.

Examples

A scale using an intensity estimate. Sociable: completely - moderately - not at all.

Scale using frequency estimation.

Punctual: always - usually - medium - sometimes - never.

As noted above, the method of observation is widely used by specialists in child psychology, especially in relation to preschool children. According to M. Ya. Basov, due to the specific features of the child, which limit the possibilities of using experimental methods, the role of observation increases. In addition, it is through observation that complex manifestations of the child's personality can be examined, since it allows one to penetrate into the very life of the child (M. Ya. Basov) and characterize it in development, in contrast to the experiment that evaluates individual aspects of the psyche. Therefore, M. Basov considered, observation is the main, the main method of cognizing the child's personality and the psychologist, and the teacher. With this statement it is impossible not to agree.

Thus, when describing the child-parent relationship in recent decades, the concept of attachment of the child to the mother, introduced by J. Bowlby (2003), is widely used and understood as having a close emotional connection between them. A number of widely known methods of diagnosing this characteristic in infants and young children is based on the use of the method of observation. For example, the method of M. Ainsworth, designed to assess the characteristics and type of attachment of the child to the mother, is the observation of the child's behavior in a new situation for him, complicated by the mother's short-term care and the appearance of an unfamiliar woman.

It should be noted that the so-called infant development scales represent, for the most part, nothing more than standardized observation schemes used along with the so-called natural experiment. The term natural experiment AF Lazursky (1927), and the method takes an intermediate place between objective observation on the one hand and artificial, laboratory experiment - on the other. Its essence lies in the fact that, unlike simple observation, in which the psychologist passively waits, when the case will give him the opportunity to fix this or that behavioral manifestation of the person, he puts the person in natural conditions that allow it to be done. Fixing the child's behavior in natural conditions, you can solve the research problem. AF Lazursky singles out the essential condition of natural experiment, distinguishing it from the artificial one - the subject himself should not guess that he is being diagnosed.

Developmental scales intended for the diagnosis of infants, widely used in the West, provide for standardized observations of the child and subsequent comparison of the findings with development criteria. For example, in the A. Gesell Development Scale, a psychologist is encouraged to observe four main areas of behavior of a child between the ages of 4 weeks and 6 years (motor, speech, adaptive and personality-social behavior) and compare the findings with behavioral indicators reflected in the "tables" development & quot ;. The main principle that developers of such scales adhere to is the principle of the naturalness of the situation and the behavior of the child, which provides for minimal intervention of the psychologist in the usual, everyday forms of behavior of children. The use of such scales requires special experience and should be carried out by psychologists.

Another kind of practical work of a psychologist, where observation is widely used - clinic-consulting activity. The clinical psychologist must perfectly master this method, be able to observe patients and describe their conditions. But in the clinic it is difficult to meet all the requirements for observation described above, so its results are used in combination with the indicators of other methods (experimental, conversation). At the same time, it is emphasized that it is necessary to strive for long-term observations, in different situations (when examined by specialists, when visiting relatives, etc.), to avoid bias of estimates, to register the observed parameters.

Observation is also used in other areas of work of a practical psychologist. This method is useful for those who work in the fields of education, management, in counseling psychological centers, with collectives and small groups, the effectiveness of which depends on the relationships that develop there. An example of designing and using a standardized observation scheme for diagnosing the main properties of the nervous system in students is given in the training manual of MK Akimova and VT Kozlova.

Observation can be used to obtain data about a person not only as an independently used method, but also as an additional one, included in the experimental study, especially if it is necessary to record the procedural characteristics of the tasks.

In pedagogical and psychological studies, a wide variety of species and forms of observation is used. The most common species include the following:

1) observations are chronological: longitudinal, or longitudinal (conducted for a long time, usually a number of years and assuming constant contact of the researcher and the object of study); Intermittent (conducted during certain, usually precisely specified intervals of time); Single, or Single (usually represented as a single case);

2) Depending on the situation, observations can be field (in natural conditions for life), laboratory (the object is observed under artificial conditions) and provoked in natural conditions;

3) Depending on the position of the observer with respect to the object, observation can be open or hidden (for example , through Gesell's glass), by observation from and included (the researcher is a member of the group, its full participant). The included observation, as well as observation from the outside, can be open and hidden (when the observer is acting incognito).

The listed classifications do not oppose each other, and in a real concrete study, their different types can be combined.

In conclusion of consideration of the method of observation, it should be stressed once again that it is a rather laborious and complex diagnostic tool that requires the observer of great professional experience and special training. Attempts to make this method formalized (for example, the creation of a rigorous procedure of observation, the production of quantitative estimates using scales) contribute to an increase in the objectivity and reliability of the information obtained. However, it is still impossible to completely exclude the influence of the experimenter's personality on the results of observation.

Conversation. This is a method of collecting primary data based on verbal communication. Conversation is one of the main types of people interaction. Talking, people get to know other people, their views, feelings, experiences, attitudes, get communication in communication about how people see the world around them and understand it. Conversation is a very ancient form of obtaining knowledge. Thus, Thucydides interrogated the participants of the Peloponnesian wars to write the history of these wars, and Socrates is known for his dialogues in which philosophical knowledge was born. Conversation is also a traditional method of research in modern humanities, in particular in sociology and psychology.

The conversation has a variety of forms - from everyday to professional, which includes journalistic interviews, interrogations, confessions, psychotherapeutic dialogues. Here, the conversation will be considered as a method of psychological diagnosis, called interview. The ordinary consciousness underestimates the interview as a diagnostic method, considering that only strictly formalized methods are used in psychological diagnostics, and, first of all, tests. Not without reason psychodiagnostics is often called testology, and the procedure for diagnosing is testing. Meanwhile, in the profession of a practical psychologist-psychodiagnost, a conversation is a necessary tool used in any diagnostic examination. The conversation can serve as an auxiliary method in combination with other methods, but it can also have an independent value, since it allows you to get information about a person that can not be obtained by any other means. For example, only in conversation it is possible to learn about what the person thought and felt at a certain moment. It should also be noted that these interviews are useful for designing questionnaires.

The goals with which you can apply the conversation are different. First, with the help of a conversation, contact is established with the future client, the patient, the subject; there is a setting for cooperation; it is used to create a positive attitude to the future survey, the formation of the necessary motivation. With the help of the conversation, the person is prepared for diagnosis (instruction is given, examples of answers are sorted out, it turns out what remains incomprehensible for the subject and requires additional explanations). After the completion of the survey, the conversation is used to relieve anxiety, dissatisfaction, frustration, which could arise in its course. The method of conversation is used to provide psychological assistance. In this case, the conversation is called psychotherapeutic, or clinical interview. And, most importantly, the conversation can be used to obtain diagnostic information about a person. In this case, the conversation is called an diagnostic interview.

Both types of interviews are related. Any of them should begin with establishing contact and engaging in cooperation. In the psychotherapeutic conversation, the first stage can be constructed by the type of psychodiagnostic interview, and the diagnostic interview can contain elements of psychotherapeutic influence.

The interview differs from the everyday conversation with the presence of a goal and a certain structure, as well as the recording of answers. If everyday conversation looks like a free exchange of opinions, a dialogue, then a diagnostic interview is a procedure aimed at obtaining a certain knowledge of the interviewee. This procedure has the form of a thorough and detailed interrogation and listening. Therefore, the second difference between the interview and the everyday conversation is that the diagnostician determines and controls the situation. This feature leads to the fact that interlocutors take unequal, asymmetric positions in the diagnostic interview procedure: one (the psychologist) asks questions or otherwise obtains information about the interlocutor (questions unilaterally), and the interlocutor should answer the questions posed, providing knowledge about himself . Inequality of interlocutors during the interview can disrupt the contact, trusting relations between the interlocutors, which in turn threatens the appearance by the interviewee of the desire to distort the information provided, or even the desire to close, to withdraw, not to answer questions, not to participate in the diagnosis procedure. To avoid such consequences of the asymmetric positions of the interlocutors, the diagnosticians recommend the use of some proven practices. One of them is that the diagnostician before the beginning of the interview, in the process of establishing contact, suggests that the interviewee first answer the questions of a psychologist, after which the psychologist is ready to answer the interlocutor's questions. Such a separation in time of the interlocutors' questions makes it possible to soften the inequality of their positions. The recommendation of experienced psychodiagnostists is that the psychologist should behave as tactfully as possible, without demonstrating his leading position, carefully listening to the interviewee and reacting to comments and questions that arise from him.

Another difficulty of using the interview is due to the fact that the psychologist is usually perceived by others not just as an interlocutor, but as a specialist in human relations, capable of revealing what he is trying to hide in a person ("naive subject"). Interaction with him goes beyond ordinary, ordinary conversation. Caution in communication, secrecy and taciturnity, non-use of detailed answers - this should be a tactic in conversation with a psychologist according to the ideas of ordinary consciousness. Overcome this attitude to a psychologist is possible only by making an acceptance on the development of special, professionally important qualities of the personality of the psychologist. Sensitivity, empathy, reflexivity, sociability, tolerance - mandatory features of a practical psychologist using the method of conversation. At the same time, one must understand that interviewing is a craft that requires special knowledge, skills and a wide range of skills.

The difficulty of the interview is also that it is the interviewer, as an individual, who is the tool for obtaining information, and the psychologist and the interviewee are influenced in the process of the survey (both emotional and cognitive). The psychologist by his presence in the procedure changes the context, he himself influences the interlocutor (pose, facial expressions, intonations, gestures, etc.), the interviewee's answers depend on him. The interview is sensitive to the nuances of interaction. This leads to the fact that the interviewee's answers are influenced by the expectations of the psychologist. The famous English writer Iris Murdoch very correctly noted: "When I talk to you ... I always say not exactly what I think, but what can interest you and cause a response." The term interview (interviews) literally means "look between", i.e. a mutual exchange of views between two people discussing a common theme. Knowledge created by between-views is inter-related. Such knowledge is especially appreciated by therapists. So, G. Sullivan considers the therapeutic interview as an interpersonal situation and believes that the knowledge gained in it is neither objective nor subjective, they are intersubjective.

But, in the case of a diagnostic interview, the objectivity of the information obtained with it comes to the fore. Insufficient objectivity of the diagnostic interview is a major drawback, therefore, in particular, this method is often not considered diagnostic. The results of interviews are assessed as biased, dependent on the context and expectations of the psychologist. The guiding effect of leading questions leading to distorted answers is proved. Moreover, suggestive reactions can be the psychologist (verbal and bodily), which can both positively and negatively reinforce previous responses, influencing the subsequent ones. Different interpretations of these interviews are possible from different psychologists, which is largely explained by the nuances of the values ​​they extract. However, this applies more to a free interview. Distortions are also possible on the part of the interviewees, whose answers are influenced by their attitudes, first of all the attitude towards socially approved statements.

We must also remember the influence of cultural traditions and customs on the results and even the very possibility of using the interview. The use of conversation to obtain any knowledge of a person corresponds to the cultural traditions of the middle class of Europe and North America, and in other cultures it is not customary to talk with strangers. In addition, the very manner of conversation, the style of communication are different in different cultures: it concerns manifestations of initiative, directivity, self-presentation, etc.

Meanwhile, the interview has a number of undoubted merits. First, if there are no more accurate, strictly formalized methods for diagnosing some psychological characteristic, a diagnostic interview can be developed. In fact, a psychologist can use it to collect almost any information he is interested in about a person, formulating representative questions and correctly organizing the interviewing procedure. The flexibility of the interview is its undoubted merit. Another advantage of the interview is related to the habitual conversation as a form of communication with people. The interview refers to the methods of diagnosis that any practical psychologist should own, not just own, but also be able to create them.

Therefore, it is extremely important to discuss the methodological problems of designing and using the interview. Its use has deceptive simplicity, since conversation is a natural and habitual way of communicating and gaining knowledge about a person who is often used in ordinary life. In fact, if you need to learn something about a person, the simplest thing is to ask him a question. However, it should be noted that the main problem with the interview is that the objectivity of the information it provides, the very possibility of accurately assessing a person with the help of a conversation raises doubts.

Before developing an interview, you should resolve questions about its topic and goals, and plan the very procedure (structure) and define the form of questions. When conducting an interview, you must follow certain rules. The topic of the interview depends on the goal that the interviewer is facing. If he should investigate the child's fears, he formulates questions that clarify their content and level of expression. After the answers to the questions are formulated "why" (goal) and what (topic), the form of the interview and the structure of its conduct are selected. Understanding the topic of interviewing affects the choice and formulation of questions, as well as the way they are presented.

In order to formulate the questions of the diagnostic interview, it is necessary to understand the environment in which the future interviewee rotates, to understand the specific language, emotional manifestations, and the style of communication. Therefore, it is useful to have a preliminary informational conversation not only with the interviewee, but also with the people around him, in order to establish the social and cultural conditions that affect the psychological appearance of a person. It is also necessary to take into account his age and psychological characteristics determined by him, to choose the form of treatment. So, if the interviewee is a child, you need to use a children's dictionary, specific children's expressions and speech. The form of treatment depends on the age: children are referred to "you", since adolescence, the treatment by "you" is more acceptable. It is advisable to refer to a child using his home name .

The structure of the interview is usually the following. First, it is necessary to conduct a short interview with the interviewee (before the actual diagnostic part of the interview). In a preliminary conversation, the psychologist reports on the purpose of the interview and the use of technical means (voice recorder, etc.); asks the interviewee whether he would like to ask any questions or to report something before the interview begins; asks general questions that are not relevant to the topic of the interview (for example, about marital status, professional success, etc.). The conversation after the interview is conducted with a view to removing possible tension and anxiety, as well as feelings of emptiness that have arisen from the fact that the interview could affect personal emotional experiences, reveal information about other people, disappointed by the lack of a noticeable effect. It is recommended to hold the final part of the interview when the recorder is off: it may allow the interviewee to feel freer and cause a desire to touch on topics that he did not want to discuss with the recorder turned on. The interviewer can finish the conversation by asking if the interviewee wants to add or comment on his answers. In conclusion, the psychologist expresses gratitude to the interviewee for his consent to talk. Such conversations, before and after the interview itself, set its context.

During the interview, the psychologist enters into direct interaction with the respondent. The respondent's statements are accompanied by mimic reactions, gestures, poses, and these interviewee's statements give him additional information that should be recorded and used in the interview analysis. The psychologist should take into account not only the semantic information, but also the formal parameters of the conversation - different intonations, pauses, manner of speaking, which can indicate the type of person's interlocutor. So, with epileptoid accentuation of character, a person in detail, leisurely, in details tells about himself, his problems, complaints. With hysteroid accentuation, a person is characterized by a theatrical, pretentious manner of communication, excessive affectation, the desire to impress with his unusualness. Preliminary data on the interviewee's personality will allow the psychologist to more efficiently build the procedure, and also help in analyzing the results of the interview.

A conversation is a process of mutual understanding between two people, the interviewee is a source of information. Depending on the availability of the pre-prepared plan (program) and who is the initiator of the conversation, the interview is programmatic and ^ programmed.

Unprogrammed interview - is a conversation in which the initiative is on the respondent's side. This interview is of a confessional nature, which is typical for a psychotherapeutic conversation. Within the limits of psychotherapy techniques of carrying out of therapeutic interview are developed. A lot of things were done by K. Rogers, who called him nondirective. Subsequently, realizing that any interview involves a certain management, he renamed it client-centered. Rogers was the first to use audio recordings, followed by a transcript. This made the interaction and the interrogation technique accessible to analysis and application for the training of psychologists. The purpose of the therapeutic interview is to help clients solve their problems, overcome suffering and, ultimately, personal change. The skills of a psychologist in conducting a psychotherapeutic interview consist not only of his sophistication to question, but also of the ability to listen to answers. Listener's skill, ability to listen actively and empathically to what the interlocutor says, be sensitive to the nuances of statements, keep unflagging attention throughout the conversation, without interrupting the client with questions, being open-minded, tactful, ready to understand and accept the interlocutor-that is why they train those practical psychologists , who use the method of psychotherapeutic interview.

The program interview is characterized by the initiative on the side of the psychologist and the presence of a pre-established program and a stable strategy for conducting. Depending on techniques of interrogation , the program interview is free, partially standardized (semi-structured) and standardized (structured).

Free Interview has a strong strategy, appropriate to the program and free tactics. The psychologist asks questions based on previous answers. Therefore, the sequence of presentation of questions is not pre-determined, which leads to individualization of the survey. In a free interview, the client is detailed and free, in his own words tells about what he wants. This interview is spontaneous, has the form of a story. The more spontaneous the interview procedure, the more likely it is to receive live, unexpected answers from the respondents. A free interview helps to preserve the naturalness of the situation and facilitates the maintenance of contact with the respondent, but requires the psychodiagnostist flexibility, skill, experience. During the interview, the interviewer should quickly decide which question to ask next, and which one to exclude, which aspects of the responses to monitor, and which ones to track. A psychologist conducting a free interview should have a good command of the language and art of conversation, be sensitive to the linguistic features of the style of utterances, be able to help the respondent develop his answer. He must have broad knowledge of the topic of the conversation.

Semi-structured interview is characterized by a tougher tactic when the psychologist follows the sequence of presentation of questions, but at the same time allows the interlocutor to freely express himself by answering them. Both free and semi-structured interviews are carried out individually and are used for individual counseling, when it is required to penetrate the inner world of the individual, to understand the difficulties experienced by her and to outline the types of psychological assistance.

The standardized interview differs ns only with a persistent strategy, and tough tactics. The results of a standardized interview are the most accurate in comparison with other types of interviews. The psychologist prepares questions in advance and thinks out the sequence of their presentation. Moreover, the form of answers is often provided, for example, their options are given. Such an interview is very similar to a questionnaire, it can be presented in writing - on forms and conducted with a group. The merits of a standardized interview are the comparability of the results of different respondents, ensuring the fullness of the questions, limiting the additional impacts on the individual. This type of interview is often used in mass surveys, when it is necessary to obtain a large amount of data about a group of respondents in a short period of time. The lack of a standardized interview in that it does not seem like a natural conversation is estimated by respondents as the situation of an examination survey, which limits their immediacy and sincerity. This type of interview is not used when working with children, as they are particularly sensitive to exam situations, data collection, evaluation. It is believed that a standardized interview can be used if an individual is willing to cooperate with a psychologist.

The type of interview determines the nature of the questions, their consistency and the connections between them. Each question can be assessed thematically - from the point of view of the correspondence of the research topic and dynamically - from the point of view of interpersonal relations in the interview. A good question should bring the necessary knowledge about a person and at the same time promote a good interaction of the psychologist with the respondent.

Thematically, questions should be related to the theoretical concepts that underlie the interview and the procedure for analyzing the answers. Thus, hermeneutical concepts place the interpretation of meanings at the center of the matter, therefore questions should concern the understanding of texts; the phenomenological approach is characterized by attention to the life world, the experiences of the subject, and questions should contribute to the most accurate and complete description of the experience without analysis and explanation. If the analysis procedure involves the categorization of answers, questions should clarify their meaning in accordance with the categories of the subsequent analysis. If a narrative analysis is used, the respondent is given enough freedom and time to deploy the story, and questions are asked only to clarify the main events and characters of the subjects of these stories.

Dynamically questions should promote positive communication, support conversation and stimulate the respondent's desire to sincerely tell about himself. Therefore, the interview should not be long and boring.

Questions are recommended to make simple and short. The wording of the questions affects the content of the answers. Their form can be different. The following types of questions stand out:

1) direct questions, which directly ask the topic and aspect of its consideration ( Are you afraid to fly on airplanes? "," How do you feel about alcohol ? );

2) indirect questions, which need to be interpreted in order to get an answer on the topic under consideration ( What do you do when you fly on an airplane? ", you willingly participate in feasts, where they drink a lot? ");

3) project questions, in which we are talking about the actions and opinions of others, but according to the respondent's answers, one can judge his actions and opinions ( People are usually afraid fly on airplanes? "," Do many people like to drink? ");

4) specific questions, which are used to get deeper information if there are many common statements in the answers ("What did you think?", "What?" Did you take it when that happened? );

5) introductory questions, generating spontaneous, detailed descriptions ( Could you tell me about ... "," Do not recall the case, when ...? "," Could you describe the situation in which ...? ");

6) tracking questions, arising due to the attention and criticality of the psychologist revealing significant points in the respondent's answers; for their clarification and development of the topic discussed, the repetition of the words used in the answer, direct questions about what was said, as well as nods and pauses suggesting the development of the topic are used;

7) clarifying questions, aimed at clarifying what was said ("Would you like to tell us something more about this?", "Can not you elaborate more describe what happened? );

8) structuring questions aimed at stopping the verbose response when the conversation topic is exhausted ( Now I'd like to move on to another topic ");

9) questions of interpretation, used to clarify the meaning of the answer; to this end, the psychologist can simply rephrase the answer ("Do you think that ...?") or directly contact the respondent with a request to clarify ( Is it possible that what you have just said to express in such words ..? .? ).

Choosing a form of questions and formulating them, psychodiagnostics should remember their subsequent analysis and interpretation, and therefore, in the process of free and semi-structured interviews, he will seek unambiguous statements, clarifying their meaning as necessary. It is established that even a small change in the question can affect the answer.

You should try to ask neutral questions. However, this is not always possible: if the purpose of the interview is to obtain information about the negatively assessed personality traits, habits, behavioral acts, the answers to questions may be insincere, depending on the severity of the attitude towards socially approved statements. To minimize the effect of this setting (the so-called "facade effect"), psychodiagnostics should use a number of techniques. One of them is the use of "pre-tact", which understates the adverse impression of an answer, for example: "Everyone drinks sometimes." And you? & Quot ;. Another trick is to use the commentary included in the interviewee's narrative and tactfully suggesting to tell him something about himself, to express his point of view (during the interviewee's talk about how he spends the holidays, the psychologist says: "In such days, many are accustomed to make feasts and drink a lot "). The next step is that the negative is considered normal, without evaluation, as an existing fact that should be accepted ( And now tell me who you usually drink with "). You can resort to questions in the use of euphemisms ( Do you think it is useful sometimes to relax? "). It is sometimes advisable to apply the written form of the answer to some emotion-related questions.

Respondents' answers should be recorded during the conversation, not after it. The record should be complete, without any exceptions. This prevents bias in interpreting when one data is used and others are "forgotten" and therefore are not taken into account. It is impossible to be stereotyped, i.e. on individual answers to diagnose. It is recommended to analyze the results of the interview in conjunction with other diagnostic data, as well as additional information about the person (biographical, information about the success of his leading activities, expert assessments, medical reports, etc.).

It should be remembered that interviewing, like any diagnostic procedure, has a moral aspect.

Conscious consent should be obtained from the interviewee prior to the interview, when the psychologist informs him about the purpose and procedure of the interview. As J. Fog notes, the interviewer can be put in a situation of choice between practical and ethical considerations. On the one hand, he seeks to obtain the information needed to provide psychological assistance regarding the depths of the respondent's personality, while at the same time risking violating the rights of the individual, and on the other - wants to respect the rights of the individual as much as possible, that is the right to secrecy, at the risk of receiving superficial and unhelpful information about the respondent .

Privacy is provided by providing information about who will have access to the results of the interview. Consequences of participation in the interview deal with both the procedure and the effects that are manifested later. If the topic of the interview concerns very personal and profound emotionally loaded problems, then in some cases psychotherapeutic help may be required. This primarily applies to emotionally unstable respondents. If you are supposed to deal with such a person and the interview will touch upon painful questions, it is recommended to work in contact with a psychotherapist who is ready to provide the necessary assistance.

Summarizing the topic under discussion, we emphasize that a professionally designed and used diagnostic interview can provide very useful information about an individual that a practical psychologist needs.

thematic pictures

Also We Can Offer!

Other services that we offer

If you don’t see the necessary subject, paper type, or topic in our list of available services and examples, don’t worry! We have a number of other academic disciplines to suit the needs of anyone who visits this website looking for help.

How to ...

We made your life easier with putting together a big number of articles and guidelines on how to plan and write different types of assignments (Essay, Research Paper, Dissertation etc)