Entering the Child's Mind: The Clinical Interview In by Herbert P. Ginsburg

By Herbert P. Ginsburg

Getting into the kid's brain teaches the "clinical interview" as a method for gaining perception right into a kid's frame of mind. within the culture of Piaget and Vygotsky, Dr. Ginsburg argues that standardized tools of overview frequently fail to satisfy the demanding situations of complicated cognition. He offers the scientific interview as a strong software that, while understood and used adequately, offers psychologists with a profound appreciation for kid's considering. This booklet represents the 1st complete therapy of the idea and perform of the medical interview procedure.

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SOME CLINICAL INTERVIEWS Interviews are not the invention of psychologists. People have always engaged in dialogs with others to find out what they think. Over time, specialized forms of interviews have evolved in various professions: the law, journalism, medicine. Clinical interviews are to some extent distinct from the others in nature and purpose. In this section, I present several clinical interviews, the first revolving around a classic Piagetian topic, the conservation of number. After that, I give examples of how clinical interviewing has been used in connection with a variety of research efforts and in applications like IQ testing.

In general, test items are deliberately designed to elicit very little behavior from subjects. In particular, they usually do not elicit subjects' verbalizations concerning strategies and methods of solution - verbalizations which might provide considerable insight into children's thinking. No doubt the standard impoverishment of subjects' behavior simplifies scoring and thereby helps ensure that raters can agree on how to score the items (high "inter-rater reliability"). But there may be a serious price to pay for this apparent "objectivity": incorrect inferences concerning what most interests us, children's thinking.

But then the question arises as to whether M sees "Douglas" as a real person or as a character portrayed by an actor. A question about the family "After the show is over . . " - reveals that M makes a very clear distinction between actors and the characters they portray. He is perhaps naive only in thinking that the actors are "friends" (although perhaps he really means only "acquaintances"). It is hard to see how standardized interview questions could reveal the same level of complexity in children's thinking.

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