Investigative and Intelligence Interview Practices: An Australasian Experimental Study

Jane Goodman-Delahunty, Diane Sivasubramaniam

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report (non-public)


Investigative and intelligence interviews are conducted for multiple purposes in different countries and jurisdictions but little research exists on the perceived effectiveness and fairness of information-gathering verses accusatorial techniques. Common practise and beliefs among criminal and intelligence interviewers in Australia and Asia Pacific were examined by means of an online survey. One section of the survey was administered as a between-subjects experiment, in which the consequences of the crime and interview coerciveness were manipulated in an interview vignette to test interviewers' justice evaluations. A total of 324 participants were recruited in Australia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Republic of China (ROC) Taiwan, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Participants reported a cooperative, information-gathering approach to criminal and intelligence interviewing. Findings on self-report measures were corroborated by strong effects of treatment in the experimental design. Interviewers valued recording of interviews, believed that they were proficient in assessing the credibility of interviewees, and favoured interview strategies based on rapport and relationship building. Coercion in an interview decreased interviewers' satisfaction with the process and outcome, and led them to rate both the process and its outcome as less fair. Rapport and relationship building techniques were frequently used by all participants throughout the interview process, and were rated as highly effective in achieving the goals of an interview. Rapport-building was rated as more effective in achieving interview goals by participants from low than high power-distance cultures. Implications and recommendations for interviewing practice are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationEl Paso
PublisherUniversity of Texas
Commissioning bodyUS Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation
Number of pages143
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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