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Chapter 8

Psychological Assessment - Chapter 8 Book Notes

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Interviewing Techniques
The factors which discriminate an unstructured psychological test from an employment interview
(selection interview) include:
Broad and unrestricted, where the interviewer focuses on the individual and a variety of areas
Non-directive, where the psychologist allows the individual to determine the direction of the
The psychologist rarely asked questions, but rather comments and reflects the individuals
Referred to as a diagnostic interview, centered on the individuals emotional functioning rather
than his or her qualifications
The psychologist attempts to uncover feelings, thought, and attitudes that might delay or facilitate
the individuals ability
The Interview as a Test
Interview: is a method for gathering data or information about an individual
Resembles a test
The information is used to describe the individual and make future predictions
Can be evaluated in terms of standard psychometric qualities
Often the most or only important source of data
One of the most prevalent selection devices for employment
Used in all health-related professions
Chief method of collecting data in clinical psychiatry
Similarities between an interview and a test include:
Method for gathering data
Used to make predictions
Evaluated in terms of reliability or validity
Group or individual
Structured or unstructured
Structured interview: a specific set of questions are asked
Structured standardized interview: these questions are printed
Unstructured interview: no specific questions or guidelines to follow
Reciprocal Nature of Interviewing
All interviews involve mutual interaction, where all the participants are interdependent
If one of the participants increase his or her activity level, then the activity of the other participant
also increases
This applies for reduction of activities as well
Also affect each others mood
Social facilitation: we tend to act like the models around us
Since the participants in an interview influence each other, the good interview must provide a
relaxed and safe atmosphere through social facilitation
Social facilitation is one of the most important concepts underlying the interview process
Principles of Effective Interviewing
There are no set rules that apply to all interviewing situations, but some principles help the conduct of
almost any interview
The Proper Attitude
Interpersonal influence (the degree to which people can influence another) is related to interpersonal
attraction (the degree to which people share a feeling of understanding, mutual response, similarity, and
the like)
Sessions receive a good evaluation when the interview is warm, open, concerned, involved, and
committed regardless what the type of the problem is
To appear effective and establish a relationship, the interviewer must show proper attitudes
Responses to Avoid
In a stress interview, the interviewer may induce discomfort to the interviewee
Making interviewees feel uncomfortable places them on guard and little information is revealed
To gain must information as possible, judgmental or evaluative statements, probing statements,
hostility, and false reassurance should be avoided
Judgmental: evaluating the thoughts, feelings, or actions of another
When the terms good, bad, terrible, and stupid are used, we are making evaluative statements
Unless the goal of the interview is to determine how a person responses to being evaluated,
evaluative or judgmental statements should be avoided
By probing, we may induce the interview to reveal something that he or she is not yet ready to
Probing is ideal with dealing with children with mental retardation, those who are highly anxious,
and those who are withdrawn
False reassurance should be avoided, since the interviewee knows it is false
Effective Responses
One major principle of effective interviewing is keeping the interaction flowing
The interviewer exerts a minimum amount of effort to keep the interaction flowing
Open ended questions provides the interviewee with a range of topics that he or she feels are