Obtaining findings beyond ostensible rationalisations and superficial or socially desirable answers
What is a psychological individual exploration or an in-depth interview?
Psychological individual explorations and in-depth interviews are used to intensively research and reveal subjective motivation structures and inner patterns of experience.
In a 1 to 2-hour conversation the psychologically trained interviewer explores the rational and emotional attitudes of his partner in discussion towards particular circumstances. In the course of the interview deeper and deeper-lying structures are actualised, and aspects which are hard to verbalise and which the interviewee is not directly aware of are uncovered.
What are the distinctive features of psychological individual explorations or in-depth interviews?
- Flexibility: The freely-led, non-directive conversation using an open guideline or catalogue of themes can be adapted to the subjective experience of the interviewee. As a result on the one hand the interviewee himself can decide the contents which are focused on and on the other hand the interviewer can also follow up in detail subjects which only emerge during the course of the conversation.
- Emotionality: The pleasantly relaxed, conversational atmosphere and the appreciative behaviour of the interviewer enable the interviewee to talk about not only his own emotions, but also unpleasant or socially undesirable aspects.
- Depth of findings: With the help of projective or associative questioning techniques the interviewer gains access to attitudes and needs which are hard to verbalise and which the interviewee is not directly aware of and can reflect on these together with him. The conversations are recorded on tape, subsequently transcribed and then the content is analysed and interpreted.
Where are psychological individual explorations or in-depth interviews used?
- Analysis of individual, intimate attitude and behaviour patterns
- Image studies
- Motive analysis
- Lifestyle research
- Psychological market segmentation