Oral History Interview & Importance – Part 24

Mental Stimulation

Hamid Qazvini
Translated by Natalie Haghverdian

2017-10-04


An ordeal that the interviewers are exposed to is loss of memory due to time and diversity of issues. Obviously, oral history scholars have no choice but to stimulate and jog the memory of the narrator applying various methods to conduct a quality interview. Some applicable methods are:

  1. Our mind is more active and productive while we enter into a dialogue with others. The more satisfying the dialogue would be for both parties, there is greater interest to pursue. Hence, oral history interviewer shall promote satisfaction in the narrator to entice them to continue the interview and stimulate their mind. Various studies indicate that in case of and effective dialogue, people enjoy a better mental and psychological status which reinforces memory. Also, it is recommended not to delay interview sessions to keep the narrator focused on the topic.
  2. It is good to inform the narrator of the interview topic to think about. Also, ask them to have a piece of paper and a pen ready to note what comes to mind.
  3. At the beginning of each session give a brief summary of the discussions in the previous session and start the interview when the narrator is fully focused.
  4. Remind the narrator of the sweet memories recounted in the past in order to promote a positive spirit to dig the issue deeper. Usually interesting, funny and amusing tells are effective in stimulating the memory. Specially that some memories are remembered as anecdotes.
  5. During the interview note the names of people or bring up issues towards which the narrator has a positive attitude. It lessens the burden of harsh and heartbreaking issues.
  6. Memories in the minds of people are intertwined with specific images and signs and emotions. Hence, it is recommended to ask questions using interesting signs and images and avoid direct and sudden questions.

Remember that we all use all our senses to remember or recall information. Elements such as voices, movements, feelings, images, colors, scents, location, languages, tastes are all effective in this process.

  1. Questions shall be chronological and thematic and asked gradually. Combining questions and topics interrupts concentrations and results in mental exhaustion. Hence, avoid involving a new topic until the topic under discussion is fully addressed.
  2. The narrator shall not get tired or lose sleep. Such circumstances weaken the memory.
  3. If necessary, show images and documents or make reference to written literature to stimulate the narrator’s mind.
  4. Narrator’s peace and comfort, reinforces memory. Don’t put the narrator in stressful situations, since any anxiety hurdles concentrations and weakens the memory.

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 1 - Oral History, Path to Cultural Dialogue

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 2 - Characteristics of an Interviewer

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 3 - Selecting a Subject

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 4 - Narrator Identification & Selection

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 5 - Goal Setting

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 6 - Importance of Pre-interview Data Collection

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 7 - To Schedule & Coordinate an Interview

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 8 - Required Equipment & Accessories

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 9 - Presentation is vital

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 10 - Interview Room

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 11 - Pre-interview Justifications

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 12 - How to Start an Interview

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 13 - Proper Query

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 14 - Sample Query

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 15 - How to ask questions?

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 16 - Body Languag

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 17 - Application of Body Language (1)

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 18 - Application of Body Language (2)

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 19 - Listening Carefully (1)

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 20 - Listening Carefully (2)

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 21- New Questions

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 22 - Duration

Oral History Interview & Importance Part 23 - Arguments with the Narrator



 
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