12 Observation Functions in Psychodiagnostics

Observation is an observation that must be carried out naturally or naturalistic in which the observer must be immersed in both realistic and natural situations that are happening and focus on events, symptoms or something. Observations are made to find out how a person behaves in a certain situation through observing the behavior of individuals in that situation.

A professional will use observation by monitoring the behavior of others visually while recording information from the behavior of others qualitatively or quantitatively. Observation techniques in psychology can be said to be scientific if the observation of events, symptoms or something aims to interpret, reveal factors and find rules that govern them.

In essence, observation can become scientific if the observations are carried out systematically by someone who has knowledge of what is observed, makes observations in an unbiased way, records and classifies what is observed accurately and then communicates the results of the observations effectively.

Meanwhile, psychodiagnostics are related to the investigation process to identify and understand psychological variables and diagnosis. During its development, the need to make a psychological diagnosis does not only exist in the clinical field because it can be used with the measurement process and the use of various techniques to be able to understand and diagnose psychological variables.

Then, what are the functions of observation in psychodiagnostics? Here’s a full explanation.

  1. Obtain Data About Clinical Problems

The first function of observation in psychodiagnostics is in clinical psychology. Observation in clinical psychology aims to obtain data about clinical problems. Coben and Swerdlik stated that observation is used for initial assessment and also for designing clinical interventions that are applied to hospital, prison, school and other settings.

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Observational techniques in clinical psychodiagnostics are used with other methods such as interviews and tests to determine suitable interventions for the subject. Some of the benefits of observation are to identify the symptoms of a disorder, identify the level of the disorder as a support in the counseling or therapy process or support in the psychological test process.

  1. Identifying Symptoms or Symptom

The method of observation in psychodiagnostics, namely the theory of developmental psychology, is used to identify symptoms or symptoms that arise from disorders or developmental problems, especially in children. This method is needed because it is possible to measure children’s behavior that cannot be measured with other psychological measurement tools.

After obtaining about the problems that arise as a result of child development, then the observation is also used to identify the level and level or degree of developmental disorders, identify the level or identify the child’s level of development.

In addition, observation is also used to monitor and evaluate the process of therapy or intervention in children. With observation, it can be seen how much the effectiveness of the therapy is given and parents can also see the development of the results of therapy which can later be used as a reference for making more positive changes to children’s development.

  1. Identifying Learning Difficulties

In the scope of educational psychology , psychodiagnostic observation is useful for identifying learning difficulties, monitoring and evaluating the implementation of learning difficulties interventions. In addition, observations can be made in determining lesson planning, class management, assessment and evaluation of learning and even become part of research methods in the world of education conducted by education experts to observe the natural behavior of students in school, in the classroom, field, museum, environment and various other place.

Observation can also be applied in inclusive schools and accelerated programs where it is used to monitor and evaluate the learning process and its results. If problems are found, then observation is also useful for determining appropriate interventions according to the problem that is currently happening. Besides being used to identify the talents and interests of students, so that it can help develop creativity.

  1. Job Analysis Process

The application of observation to industrial and organizational psychology is commonly used for personality selection and assessment. In addition, this can also be used in the process of job analysis and also in monitoring behavior in the training process such as classical psychoanalytic theory . Cohen and Swerdlik also added that in industrial settings, observation is also used as a tool to identify someone who shows abilities that meet job criteria.

  1. Research interests

Psychodiagnostic observations in the development of social psychology are used for research purposes. According to Taylor, Peplau and Sears, observation in social psychology research is often in the form of direct observation. For example, observing prosocial behavior is done in an actual setting by observing people’s helping behavior.

Baleman said that the observation method is useful for research with social topics involving 2 or more participants and research with hypotheses that emphasize more on process than results.

Bakeman also said that observations in social psychology can be used for various designs, either experimental or correlational research. For example, the use of observation in experimental research is the problem of coformity, adherence and aggressive behavior.

  1. Understanding Hypotheses or Ideas

Observation in psychodiagnostics is also useful as a means of generalizing hypotheses or ideas. By observing children who are playing freely in the play area, we can find out what activities are of interest to children and how they enjoy the activities they are doing.

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The understanding obtained from observations can be used as a basis for designing activities that will be carried out in the learning process at school. That way, we can design a fun learning process for children by generalizing the knowledge obtained from observations. The hope is that in this way a person can take full advantage of the learning process.

  1. Means of Answering a Specific Question

Observation in psychodiagnostics can also be used as a means to answer specific or specific questions such as in the naturalistic observation method in educational psychology . For example, if a researcher wants to know how a waiter responds to restaurant diners who provide tips and those who don’t, then the researcher can design the desired situation in the experiment.

The observation method will be used to observe differences in waiter behavior in these situations. Another example is the study by Mary Ainsworth regarding maternal deprivation in infants and subsequent child adjustment.

He placed a child who was experiencing maternal deprivation, namely in the form of attention and affection as an infant and carefully observed several related factors such as the child’s age at the time of separation, the length of separation and also the alternative treatment needed.

  1. Provide a More Realistic Picture

The use of observation in psychology can also provide a more realistic picture of an event or behavior than other methods of gathering information. As stated by Goodwin and Driscoll, through observation it is possible to measure children’s behavior that cannot be measured with other tools, such as children with limited language skills and having difficulty doing paper and pencil tests.

Another advantage of using observation in children is that it makes them feel less anxious or threatened as happens to older children or adults even though they know that they are being observed.

If adults know that they are being observed, they will tend to change their behavior and not behave as usual, but things like this do not happen to children. They can continue to behave naturally and not be disturbed by the ongoing observation process.

  1. Understanding Children’s Behavior

With observation, this makes it possible for researchers or practitioners to be able to better understand the kinds of behavior in child psychology . For example, if a teacher wants to know about a kindergarten child’s understanding of the concept of numbers. Kindergarten children may be able to pronounce a sequence of numbers from one to ten.

However, whether the child really can understand the concept of numbers, can be done by asking the child to take a certain number of blocks. In addition, the teacher can also gain insight into the feelings and actions of the child when doing the assigned task.

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  1. Means of Evaluation

With observation, it can be used as a means of evaluating psychodiagnostics in the social field . For example, evaluating teachers in class, knowing student responses to different learning methods, detecting the development of infant motor behavior, knowing situations that cause children to behave aggressively and many more.

  1. Give an overview

Observation in psychodiognastics also aims to describe everything related to the object of research, draw conclusions that are compiled into a relevant report and can also be useful for learning or study material.

Some of the reasons why an observation should be done is to know everything related to the object directly and clearly without having to guess. Observations made in children are generally more accurate than those of adults. Because adults tend to unconsciously make answers and not what they are.

Other Functions of Observation in Psychodiagnostics

In addition to some of the psychodiagnostic observations described above, there are still several other functions, such as:

  • Can be combined with other methods.
  • Provides a description of a real world picture.
  • Can be confirmed by research results.
  • Noted symptoms that sometimes cannot be explained directly.


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