Interviewing Witnesses

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  1. What are the best types of questions?
    • Knowledge gained by interviewing the general population and people with special needs
    • Open are good for more accurate but less complete answers 
    • As the questions get more specific, answers get more complete but less accurate Describe him > was his shirt red?
  2. Are the police good at interviewing witnesses?
    • No (Fisher et al, 1987)
    • 11 interruptions on average 
    • Only 3 open questions 
    • This impacts on concentration, establishes a question-answer format and can confuse some witnesses
  3. What is cognitive interviewing?
    • An interviewing tool for enhancing testimony- Geiselman et al (1984)
    • Ask witness to mentally revisit the event and the mental state they were in to make the features of encoding and feedback more similar to reduce distortion (Memon & Bull, 1991)
    • Encourage the reporting of every detail, no matter how small (could be important and leads to further recall)
    • Change up the narrative and start from different points, could lead to further recall and a different perspective
  4. What is enhanced cognitive interviewing?
    • Fisher et al (1987)
    • Same structure as the CI but with more social aspects 
    • Establish a rapport 
    • Transfer control to the witness 
    • Make questions compatible with mental capabilities 
    • Encourage focused retrieval and the use of imagery
  5. Does Cognitive interviewing work?

    Kohnken et al. (1994) –cognitive interview (CI) produces around 25-35% more information than standard interview

    Milne and Bull, (2002): Kids shown video of a crash then interviewed 48 hours later with different CI techniques The most effective tenet was reporting everything, however other measures were no more effective than the instruction to 'try again'

    • Fisher et al. (1989) – US Field test of 7 trained officers
    • – 47% more information elicited compared to controls

    • Clifford and George (1996) – UK field study
    • – Different training conditions (conversation mgmt, CI), control group
    • – CI showed 55% improvement compared to self, 14% compared to ctrls
    • – No impact of conversation management training
    • – Thus, not result of novelty or Hawthorne effect
  6. Do the police like cognitive interviews?
    • Yes and no (Kebbell & Wagstaff, 1998)
    • 90% thought it produced more information 
    • 93% felt that it took too long 
    • 54% said they rarely had time to conduct a good interview 
    • Some elements are more useful than others (establishing a rapport vs differential order)
    • Dando, Wilcock & Milne (2008): police never change perspective or do recall in different order (40 and 60% of responses), the highest number of people said they built rapport all of the time (54.17%)
  7. How does hypnosis help with interviewing?
    • Establish rapport 
    • Induce hypnosis 
    • Deepen hypnosis 
    • Use memory enhancing techniques such as asking them to visualise the events like a tv show 
    • 'Awaken repressed memories'
  8. Does hypnosis improve interviewing?
    • Yes -Vingoe (1995)- 10 experts said it improved eyewitness memory 
    • No- Kebbell & Wagstaff (1998)- increases in recall associated with decreases in accuracy, false confidence in incorrect info and increased suggestibility
Card Set:
Interviewing Witnesses
2015-04-07 21:09:50
Psychology Criminology
Psychology,Forensic Psychology
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