Schuster Handouts

Schuster Handouts - THE INQUIRY PROCESS I. The Inquiry A....

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THE INQUIRY PROCESS I. The Inquiry A. Examine all factual circumstances that surround the situation under exploration. If there is conflicting testimony, ask each participant about the areas of differing perception. Carefully pin down specifics. Don’t settle for any confusion of details. B. Explore motivation, attitude, emotions, and behavior of the accused and witnesses relative to the charges at hand. C. Examine only actions that have direct relation to the charges under review. Avoid asking questions designed to satisfy your own curiosity. D. Past actions and a person’s reputation are generally not relevant; explore “character” with caution; avoid sweeping generalities. E. Questions should be stated in an objective manner, free from an intonation which might be perceived as lecturing or condescending. F. Avoid closed ended questions that will result in a “yes” or “no” answer. II. Questioning Guidelines A. The use of open questions/comments encourages and/or places responsibility on the participants to provide information which allows panel members to better understand the incident being described. Open questions/comments help the participants identify and clarify those experiences, behaviors, and feelings which are relevant to an incident or some part of it. This technique also elicits important details that the participants do not think of or are reluctant to talk about. B. In contrast, closed questions may be answered by a few words or a yes/no and are useful for obtaining specific pieces of information. C. The use of open questions is one of the most difficult skills for panelists. It is helpful to give them opportunities to practice questioning skills through the use of mock hearings. Some useful phrases to remember are: Could you tell us more about…. .? How did you feel about…. .? What did you do after…. .? What happened when…. .?
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What do you mean when you say…. .? What is your reaction to…. .? How did you become involved in…. .? What’s your understanding of……? GENERALLY WHAT” questions ask for facts, specifics. “HOW” questions ask about the process or sequence of an incident or focus on emotions. “COULD” questions tend to be maximally open although they may be considered to be a closed question. They way you look and ask the questions are extremely important in this case. “WHY” questions tend to put participants on the spot because we don’t always know why we do something. Avoid using “WHY” questions. SUGGESTIONS: Don’t ask a question unless it is relevant to the incident at hand. First, ask yourself, “Will this produce the kind of detail which will help the panel see the incident more clearly?” Don’t overuse any interviewing skills. Try to provide a balance of open and closed questions/comments. Don’t limit the participant’s response by imposing your own structure to the
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This note was uploaded on 03/23/2011 for the course PSY 554 taught by Professor K during the Spring '11 term at S. Connecticut.

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Schuster Handouts - THE INQUIRY PROCESS I. The Inquiry A....

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