Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling

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Science‐based interviewing: Information elicitation


This article describes an ethical and effective science‐based model of interviewing. An initial planning phase assists the investigative team in separating facts from inferences, decreases the likelihood of errors based on cognitive biases, and prompts careful preparation of the environment. The interview begins with an explanation of why the subject is being questioned. The interviewer then metaphorically hands the interview over to the subject, making him the talker and the interviewer the listener. The interviewer engages in active listening, soliciting as much information from the subject as possible by deploying tactics that enhance memory based on science, including elements of the cognitive interview. Cues to deception are found in the details of the story, rather than in signs of anxiety or nonverbal behaviours, and by deploying Strategic Use of Evidence. This model has been shown to increase cooperation, decrease resistance, and provoke useful information in real‐world criminal interviews.

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