79 PHENOMENOLOGY AND PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSESS- MENT : RE-PRESENTATIONAL DESCRIPTION1 Constance T. Fischer Phenomenologically oriented psychological reports are descriptive rather than primarily quantitative, categorical, or reductive. But descrip- tive in what sense? Descriptive of what? What modes of presence during an assessment are necessary for descriptive reports? What descriptions appear in a psychological report? These are the questions addressed by the major portion of this paper. First, however, by way of context, the practices of a phenomeno- logically oriented assessment approach will be overviewed. Greater detail on theory as well as practice, including sample assessments, may be found in Fischer, 1973, 1976a-c, and 1979. The practices are grounded in recognition of situation intentionality, structure, dialectics, co- constitution, hermeneutics. These catchwords of phenomenology are not elaborated here, but their implications become apparent in the overview of practices below and in the explorations of assessment description. OVERVIEW OF ASSESSMENT APPROACH AND PRACTICES How might psychological assessment go beyond diagnostic categories, normative designation, psychodynamics, and external variables to become directly relevant to the particular client's life? A basic step is to recognize the above assessment conceptions as such, as tools developed by people to aid in thinking about and understanding other people.
Journal of Phenomenological Psychology – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1980
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