Observation and Interview – Methods Of Measuring Personality

Interview and observation are two main methods used to assess psychological clients in different setups. Interview involves face to face interaction between a psychologist and the client. It gives the psychologist a chance to understand the client’s problem from their own point of view. Interview main strength is that it is possible to dig deep and hence, giving the psychiatrist an opportunity to get the root cause of the problem. The counselor can also manage to get more information through facial expression as he or she dig deeper tactfully. The main weakness of interview is that it is considerably hard to mine information from the client, especially when the client has trust issues. It is also possible to get false information from the client and hence, the data may not be very reliable and neither is it reliable. Moreover, the obtained answers or information highly depend on the interviewer and how skilled one is in gathering data via interview. Interview is considered to be ethical since the client’s consent is considered. Interview can be done in a clinical set up where the counselor wishes to obtain more information from the client (Sarason&Holzman, 1999).

Observation on the other hand involves watching the client at a distance. Observation is mostly done secretly; without the client’s knowledge. This is basically meant to ensure that the client behaves in a natural way and hence, it assist in getting the most accurate information regarding client’s behavior. Thus, the data collected via observation is more reliable compared to that collected via interview, and highly valid. The main weakness is, one does not get an explanation regarding why they behaved in that manner. Observation is mostly done secretly and thus, it may present ethical issues since it is like spying; client’s consent is not given. Observation can be done in a natural in a natural environment with intention of getting the true behavior of a person (Sarason&Holzman, 1999).

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