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The taxonomy of interviewing techniques
- Overview

see Table!!!

1) rapport building
2) context manipulation
3) emotional provocation
4) confrontation/competition
5) collaboration
6) presentation of evidence


The taxonomy of interviewing techniques
- How did they come up with this? (Kelly et al.)

- Did a literature review of 46 articles and identified over 800 different techniques which were studied
- Took out the repetitions (over 200 left)
- Took out those which repeated in content or were too broad (macro-level) or to specific (micro-level)
- Came up with 71 techniques which fit under 6 domains (meso-level)


The taxonomy of interviewing techniques
- Theory

- explores how the 6 domains work together
(rapport building, context manipulation, emotional provocation, confrontation/competition, collaboration, presentation of evidence)
- domains are the different components of the model and these components have to work together
- Rapport "is at the centre" = is the most important technique --> other techniques do not work without rapport
- context manipulation "surrounds the others" = facilitates the other techniques
- once rapport is established move through the other 4 techniques -> Important!! always rebuilt rapport
=> interdependences of domains!


What is rapport building?
- the definition of rapport

- what are rapport building techniques

= a working relationship between operator and source based on a mutually shared understanding of each other’s goals and needs, which can lead to useful, actionable intelligence or information
= consisting of mutual attention, positivity, and coordination

- personalization
- communicating empathy
- process statement (indicate understanding of the content)
- unconditional positive (clinical) / neutral (suspect) regard
--> cannot just tick a checklist: person must understand and be motivated to built rapport


What is rapport building?
- components

Tickle-Degnen and Rosenthal (1990) model:
1) Mutual attention
= is the degree of involvement or engagement that interactants experience
- easiest to establish

2) Positivity
= friendliness or caring
• Researcher identified 2 fundamental dimensions of social judgment: warmth (liking) and competence (respect) = communication and agency
o Warmth= represents someone’s perceived intentions toward you
o Competence= represents the ability to act on those intentions
• unconditional positive regard (clinical) unconditional neutral regard (police interview)
--> may be best accomplished through mutual respect

3) Coordination
= the degree to which interactants’ behaviour is synchronised
- often used in crisis negotiation
- helps to develop a feeling of shared understanding and predictability
- reached through synchrony, complementarity, mimicry, accommodation, or convergence between partners, taking one of several different forms of reciprocity

--> the components are interrelated but also distinct
--> coordination is by definition a group or dyadic concept, but the attention, positivity, and understanding components must also be mutual
--> rapport is important and should be present through out the interview BUT is insufficient on its own


Rapport in social influence

- rapport building can vary
- type of social influence wanted can inform rapport building
Types of social influence:
• Interest based (compliance)
o interviewee wants reward or no punishment
--> interviewer must establish authority/credibility (competence to deliver)
--> more mutual understanding, less about liking
- critical coordination (power play -> tit for tat)

• Relationship based (affiliation and identification)
o person may want to fulfil a role or want acceptance
--> mutual respect, liking and commonality are helpful

• Identity based (consistency, internalisation)
o occurs when someone appeals to self-concept, values, or beliefs of a target
--> depends on influencer’s credibility
(difficult requires time, contact, knowledge)


Rapport in educing information

• Rapport has benefits for educing interviewees’ memories (little research so far)
• Collins et al. (2002) showed that encouraging and positive interviewer able to elicit more detail from witness without increasing number of errors (vs. neutral or mean interviewer)
--> witness may try harder
• Coordination may help by minimising interviewer disruptions to retrieval process


Benefits of rapport

Downsides of rapport

• Help witness recall more info (motivation + mnemonic)
• Increase trust = more useful info
• More cooperation and faster agreement in negotiation
For suspects:
• Higher suspect responsiveness and cooperation
• More true and less false confessions
=> higher diagnosticity = provide more criminally relevant information

- could be a way for social influence
- should be used in combination with a general more humane interview strategy
- limited research yet


Vallano, J. P., Evans, J. R., Schreiber Compo, N., & Kieckhaefer, J. M. (2015). Rapport-Building During Witness and Suspect Interviews: A Survey of Law



- define it and see how rapport is build in real-world investigations

- rapport questionnaire (questions: how conceptualize and build rapport with adult interviewees) given to 123 law enforcement interviewers

- different understanding and definitions:
> most mentioned: relationship (46%), trust (30%)...
> 56% classified rapport as positive, others as positive and negative
> vast majority said its important
-> most important for getting more quantity info (28%) and quality (20%)...
> different opinions with whom its most beneficial: suspects (27%) children (27%), witnesses (20%), victims (15%)
> around 3 techniques used per interview (similar witness or suspect)
-> self-disclosure and commonality (= most important verbal techniques)
-> understanding, friendly demeanour, open body language, respect (= most important non-verbal)
=> perceived as important BUT not used in 40% of suspect interviews

- does not look at outcomes
- only correlational


How can we measure rapport?

Option 1:
--> independent raters judge the rapport
+ less self-reporting bias, less desirable responding
- rapport is very subjective btw. the involved parties,
behavioural observation alone = insufficient, because it is about feelings

Option 2:
--> rating from interviewer and interviewee
- biased (see above)
+ know what they feel towards the other person

=> rapport usually measure in clinical setting, not in interview situations (could be weird)


What tools can measure rapport?

Working Alliance Inventory (WAI)
- measures:
(a) agreement regarding goals
(b) agreement regarding tasks
(c) bond between therapist and client (most relevant)
- studies have shown that the tool is valid and reliable
(humanitarian interview = more perceived rapport than dominant)

Interaction questionnaire
- manipulation check
- differentiates between negative (rude, antagonistic) and positive rapport
- measure:
o interviewee’s perceptions of rapport experienced as result of interviewer’s actions and amount of rapport during interaction
o amount of rapport during the interaction

=> rapport usually measure in clinical setting, no tool for interview situations really


Cleary, H. M., & Bull, R. (2019). Jail inmates’ perspectives on police interrogation.


- assessed interrogation perceptions among jail inmates

- large sample of US jail inmates (different criminal offenses/history)
- got a questionnaire about their opinion on police interrogation

inmates opinions:
- police should give them a chance to give their side of the story (often not done)
- preferred fact-finding interview over accusatory interrogation (but its often accusatory)
- suspect wished for respected (sometimes insults or threats)
- majority was against presenting false evidence

- strongly endorsement for humanity/integrity component but ratings were also high for rapport, them sympathy/perspective-taking
- women less endorsed dominance/control approach by the police and showed greater preference for humanity/integrity
- black respondents were more likely to endorse the sympathy/perspective-taking approach
- convicted more endorsed dominance/control approach (maybe disillusioned and more hopeless), but still low

=> little research on procedural justice
=> noteworthy that suspects might mistake minimization for sympathy --> pseudo rapport?


What is PEACE?

= Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PEACE)

1. Planning and preparation
2. Engage and explain
3. Account: get the info (open-questions,
emphasising on inconsistencies and disclosing
evidence later)
4. Closure: corroborating the info given
5. Evaluate

- it was developed to be a safeguard for suspects as well as police officers
- all sessions ought to be recorded to prevent undue police pressure
- no more accusatory interrogation but a information gathering interview
- improvement to the heavily criticized REID technique
BUT not always applied correctly due to lack of
training etc.


Accusatory vs. Info-gathering

Accusatory - REID
- goal = confession (assumes guilt)
- establishes control
- uses psychological manipulation (isolation, maximization, minimization)
- close-ended question
- focuses on anxiety as cue of deception
- uses trickery (false evidence)

Info-gathering - PEACE
- goal - information elicitation
- establishes rapport (explaining allegation and seriousness of offense)
- direct positive confrontation
- open-ended questions
- focuses on cognitive cues of deception (inconsistencies!)
- no false evidence, reveals evidence strategically


Meissner, C. A., Redlich, A. D., Michael, S. W., Evans, J. R., Camilletti, C. R., Bhatt, S., & Brandon, S. (2014). Accusatorial and information-gathering interrogation methods and their effects on true and false confessions: A meta-analytic review.


- to examine the diagnosticity of information-gathering interview (UK) vs. accusatory interrogation (US)

- meta-analysis

- both methods increase likelihood of obtaining true confession (vs. direct questioning)
- accusatorial methods significantly increase likelihood of obtaining false confession
--> information-gathering is proved more diagnostic


Soukara, S., Bull, R., Vrij, A., Turner, M., & Cherryman, J. (2009). What really happens in police interviews of suspects? Tactics and confessions.


- examined extent to which number of psychological tactics identified (in literature) were actually used
--> Table 1: tactics: e.g.: minimization, maximisation, expressing concern...

- examination of 80 audio tapes with suspects
- they were provided by random selection by a relatively large police force in England who have been PEACE trained

- most problematic tactics (i.e. intimidation, minimisation, situational futility, and maximisation) never or almost never occurred
- tactics emphasised in the ‘new’ British ethos and PEACE-training were often used (i.e. open question, disclosure of evidence= majority/ emphasising contradiction, positive confrontation)
- but also some less ideal tactics were often used (i.e. leading questions)


Hardwig 2006


- examine whether SUE training can help deception detection

- police trainees (82) either were or were not trained in SUE
- interviewed lying or truth telling mock suspects (82)
- trainees’ strategies as well as liars’ and truth tellers’ counter-strategies were analysed
- 2 (Training: Trained vs. Untrained) × 2 (Veracity: Truthful vs. Deceptive) between-group design

- untrained revealed evidence more at the beginning
- trained asked more evidence related questions
- liars tried to avoid telling information relating to the evidence
- liars interviewed by trained officers were more inconsistent -->
- trained interviewers confronted liars more often (creating a asymmetrical interview pressure)
=> trained officers had higher deception detection accuracy rate (85.4%) than untrained interviewers (56.1%)
--> using statement-evidence consistency cue

- mock crime (not as complex as real life) --> less external validity
- delay and forgetting could moderate the effect
- liars strategies could also be a moderator


Hartwig 2005


- examines potential of timing of evidence disclosure as a deception detection tool

- pps did a mock crime (steal a wallet) vs. non-criminal act
- where interrogated with to styles: early evidence disclosure or late disclosure --> criminal condition instructed to lie
- interviews were video recorded
- video-tapes were shown to students who were asked to determine whether suspect was guilty or innocent

- accuracy for liars in early disclosure 43%, for late disclosure obtained 62% --> significantly better for liars not truth tellers (56%)
- liars and truth tellers were equally inconsistent in early disclosure, but liars more than truth tellers in late one
--> more inconsistencies lead to more "lie" judgments
--> helpful! because in late disclosure people actually look more at content (scientifically better)


Sukumar, D., Wade, K. A., & Hodgson, J. S. (2018). Truth-tellers stand the test of time and contradict evidence less than liars, even months after a crime.

- find out how effective lie detection techniques are that rely on inconsistencies (when suspects questioned months after a crime)

Experiment 1
- mock-crime: truth-teller committed a non-criminal act vs. liars stole a bag
- either short delay (same day) or long delay (2 months)
- got a online questionnaire (instructed to convince of innocence)
- asked specific questions to elicit more contradictions

- more inconsistencies and more contradiction with evidence from liars
- BUT truth-teller also sometimes contradicted the evidence (probably because it seemed unimportant to them) --> especially after two months
- BUT liars still more contradictions after 2 months

Experiment 2
- gave the background info about the crime and the questionnaire results to lay people to see whether they could spot the deception

- laypeople rated liars as more deceptive at both time points (no impact)
- BUT impact for truth-teller: after 2 months comes across as nearly as deceptive as liars
- the more contradiction the more "liar alert"

=> SUE can help but it has to be used with caution because after delay truth-teller are also quite inconsistent (don't forget that!)


Tekin, S., Granhag, P. A., Strömwall, L., Giolla, E. M., Vrij, A., & Hartwig, M. (2015). Interviewing strategically to elicit admissions from guilty suspects.


- examine the effect of SUE (vs Early or No Disclosure) on perception of evidence, statement-evidence inconsistencies and admissions

- pps (90) asked to perform several mock criminal tasks - then interviewed different techniques: SUE-Confrontation, Early Disclosure of Evidence, or No Disclosure of Evidence

- SUE generated more statement-evidence inconsistencies than the Early Disclosure interview
- in SUE condition suspects were more forthcoming and perceived the interviewer as having more information
- SUE: 30% of the withholding suspects switched to a more forthcoming strategy, while majority in Early Disclosure got more withholding and implemented the evidence in their lies

- student sample
- impossible to create a high stakes situation
- confounder: in SUE condition more questions asked than in other conditions


What is SUE?

= strategic use of evidence (disclosing evidence later rather than earlier)

- premise
o Innocent = verbally forthcoming
o Guilty = withhold critical info
Theory of self-regulation
= confrontation shows that counter-interrogation strategy (withholding) is insufficient, ergo need to become more forthcoming to reach goal

- key ingrediencies:
A) Statement-evidence inconsistencies
--> first ask all evidence related questions and then reveal/confront with the evidence
--> get an admission rather than a confession (can also lead to an confession)
Confession = a narrative statement in which the suspect takes responsibility for the commission of the crime (murdering the wife)
Admission = information that potentially incriminates the suspect but does not involve the suspect agreeing to have committed the crime (having been at the crime scene)

B) Perception of evidence is key (the more evidence the interviewer is believed to have the more forthcoming is the suspect)

- provide more details, and don't hold back information (illusion of transparency)
- don't contradict the evidence, have few inconsistencies (after confrontation/reveal)

- fewer details, briefer statements
- contradict evidence, more inconsistencies
- initially hold back information