Kurt W. Back
INTERVIEWING situations can be classified according to the interest which is centered in the interviewee himself. At one extreme, in clinical interviews, the purpose is to understand the respondent, to explore the interrelationships of his reactions. In opinion-survey interviewing, a person is selected as a representative of a population, but his attitudes and opinions are important and he is the only one who can give them. In surveys of factual information, such as census or consumer data, certain facts about the interviewee are wanted in order to derive figures for the total population. Here the data are not necessarily obtained from the interviewee; for instance, age and income can be obtained from records. But the data, however they are obtained, must be about the person himself if an accurate picture of the total distribution is to be found. Finally, in some types of interviewing the interest lies in the information only, not in the interviewee. If the information can be obtained more easily some other way, by looking up a book or by direct observation, so much the better. The function of the interview is only that of obtaining facts which, because of lapse of time, distance, attempts at secrecy, or other reasons, are not available for direct observation.
Turning our attention to the interviewee, we can easily see that differ-____________________