Interviewing high value detainees: Securing cooperation and disclosures

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Four types of coercive and noncoercive interview strategies (legalistic, physical, cognitive and social) used to facilitate disclosure by high value detainees were examined in an international sample of practitioners and detainees (N=78). Mixed methods analyses confirmed that the accusatorial approach was positively correlated with physically coercive strategies (rs = .58), and negatively with forms of social persuasion (rs=-.31). In response to social strategies, detainees were more likely to disclose meaningful information (OR=4.2), and earlier in the interview when rapport-building techniques were used (OR=14.17). They were less likely to cooperate when confronted with evidence (OR=4.8). Disclosures were more reliable and complete in response to noncoercive strategies, especially rapport-building and procedural justice elements of respect and voice. Physical coercion, intimidation and deception were reasons cited for providing false information. These findings augmented past theory and the evidence-base of international best practices in suspect interviews.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-897
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2014

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