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Fleming, J. (1976). Chicago Selection Research: The Group Interview. Ann. Psychoanal., 4:347-373.

(1976). Annual of Psychoanalysis, 4:347-373

Chicago Selection Research: The Group Interview

Joan Fleming, M.D.

In 1950 the Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis joined with three teaching hospitals–Michael Reese, Illinois Neuropsychiatric Institute, and Billings Hospital at the University of Chicago–to offer a psychoanalytically oriented residency program combined with analytic training. These four groups were organized as the Associated Psychiatric Faculties of Chicago (the APFC). Applicants for residency training were interviewed by representatives of the three hospitals and the Chicago Institute. Applicants accepted for psychiatric residency were automatically placed on a waiting list for referral to a training analyst and subsequent matriculation for psychoanalytic training.

The principal instrument in this selection procedure was a Group Interview. Two factors influenced the use of a Group Interview in addition to two Individual Interviews by the Chicago Institute staff. First, it seemed efficient and economical for representatives of the four institutions to meet together and interview a number of applicants on the same weekend once or twice a year. Second, the group situation was established on the assumption that reaction to stress was a significant predictor of success or failure in psychiatric work and that stress could be applied in a group setting under more effective and controlled observation. The group situation was thus established as a kind of situational test. From the outset, a follow-up study of the selection procedure was considered vital. Consequently, provision for an observer who had not actively participated in the interviewing was made part of the early design.

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