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Science-Based Interviewing
by Susan Brandon and Simon Wells

Overview


This book is about how to talk with people to learn what they know, what they've done or plan to do, and what they believe about particular events, persons, plans or activities. It may be useful in law enforcement, intelligence, and industry contexts. The content is based entirely on research supported by U.S.- and U.K.-sponsored social and behavioral science that is publicly available; these references are included in the text. Also included are suggestions for instruction and practice. The authors have knowledge and expertise in both the underlying science and in the application of these methods in the real world.

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Description


This book is about how to talk with people. It is applicable to a wide variety of contexts - law enforcement suspect, victim and witness interviews and interrogations, intelligence interrogations, interviews or debriefs, and industry (e.g., litigation, insurance fraud, human resources).


The first six chapters follow the course of an interview, beginning with planning and analysis (Chapter 2), impression management and brands (Chapter 3), developing and maintaining rapport (Chapter 4), showing active listening (Chapter 5), eliciting a detailed narrative (Chapter 6), and good questioning tactics (Chapter 7). Chapter 8 describes how to create cooperation between the interviewer and the subject, and what to do in instances where the subject is less than cooperative. Chapter 9 provides methods of assessing whether the subject's story is likely to be true. Each of these chapters are followed by a set of exercises. The subsequent chapters provide information on topics that we have been asked about in classes we have taught: what are the characteristics of good interviewers (Chapter 10), why do people confess (or not) (Chapter 11), how does memory work (Chapter 12), and what are the likely impacts of personality (Chapter 13), mental health disorders (Chapter 14), and drugs and alcohol (Chapter 15) on interview outcomes? Chapter 16 provides a brief overview of the polygraph. Chapters 17 and 18 offer brief histories of interrogations in the U.S. and the U.K., respectively. 


We provide references to the underlying science not only because we want only to promote methods that have been shown to be effective, but because we believe that if an interviewer understands why certain tactics and methods work, he or she can be more creative in their application to the peculiar challenges they face.


The strong premise of this book is that people are more likely to share information - that may be embarrassing or damaging to themselves and/or others - if the interviewer treats the person with respect and humanity. The science shows that rapport-based interviews are more effective for eliciting accurate information and are less prone to elicitation of false information. This book also proposes that the goal of an interview, in any of the contexts described above, should be information gain, rather than a confession or admission of guilt. A rapport-based, information-gathering approach increases the likelihood of identifying those with relevant information or guilty knowledge, protects the innocent, and facilitates a sense of procedural justice.

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About the author


About the authors:

Susan E. Brandon, Ph.D. (SyncScience LLC) was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience Program at Yale University for 15 years. As of 2001, she managed research and policy programs at the American Psychological Association, the National Institute of Mental Health, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Department of Defense. She served as Research Program Manager for the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) from 2010 - 2018.

Simon Wells ( Acacia 17) served for 30 years with London’s Metropolitan Police, during which time he was Course Director of the U.K. National Hostage Crisis Negotiation Course and Head of Operations for Crisis Negotiation in London. In 2008 he was seconded to the U.K.’s Civil Service to support the counter-terrorism effort within the U.K., Iraq, Afghanistan and other theatres of operation. Most recently he has been supporting the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) interrogation training, and currently is the Research to Practice Fellow for the Centre for Research and Evidence in Security and Threat (CREST) at Lancaster University (U.K.).


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Book details

Genre:BUSINESS & ECONOMICS

Subgenre:Business Communication / General

Language:English

Pages:282

Paperback ISBN:9781543973440


Overview


This book is about how to talk with people to learn what they know, what they've done or plan to do, and what they believe about particular events, persons, plans or activities. It may be useful in law enforcement, intelligence, and industry contexts. The content is based entirely on research supported by U.S.- and U.K.-sponsored social and behavioral science that is publicly available; these references are included in the text. Also included are suggestions for instruction and practice. The authors have knowledge and expertise in both the underlying science and in the application of these methods in the real world.

Read more

Description


This book is about how to talk with people. It is applicable to a wide variety of contexts - law enforcement suspect, victim and witness interviews and interrogations, intelligence interrogations, interviews or debriefs, and industry (e.g., litigation, insurance fraud, human resources).


The first six chapters follow the course of an interview, beginning with planning and analysis (Chapter 2), impression management and brands (Chapter 3), developing and maintaining rapport (Chapter 4), showing active listening (Chapter 5), eliciting a detailed narrative (Chapter 6), and good questioning tactics (Chapter 7). Chapter 8 describes how to create cooperation between the interviewer and the subject, and what to do in instances where the subject is less than cooperative. Chapter 9 provides methods of assessing whether the subject's story is likely to be true. Each of these chapters are followed by a set of exercises. The subsequent chapters provide information on topics that we have been asked about in classes we have taught: what are the characteristics of good interviewers (Chapter 10), why do people confess (or not) (Chapter 11), how does memory work (Chapter 12), and what are the likely impacts of personality (Chapter 13), mental health disorders (Chapter 14), and drugs and alcohol (Chapter 15) on interview outcomes? Chapter 16 provides a brief overview of the polygraph. Chapters 17 and 18 offer brief histories of interrogations in the U.S. and the U.K., respectively. 


We provide references to the underlying science not only because we want only to promote methods that have been shown to be effective, but because we believe that if an interviewer understands why certain tactics and methods work, he or she can be more creative in their application to the peculiar challenges they face.


The strong premise of this book is that people are more likely to share information - that may be embarrassing or damaging to themselves and/or others - if the interviewer treats the person with respect and humanity. The science shows that rapport-based interviews are more effective for eliciting accurate information and are less prone to elicitation of false information. This book also proposes that the goal of an interview, in any of the contexts described above, should be information gain, rather than a confession or admission of guilt. A rapport-based, information-gathering approach increases the likelihood of identifying those with relevant information or guilty knowledge, protects the innocent, and facilitates a sense of procedural justice.

Read more

About the author


About the authors:

Susan E. Brandon, Ph.D. (SyncScience LLC) was a faculty member in the Department of Psychology Behavioral Neuroscience Program at Yale University for 15 years. As of 2001, she managed research and policy programs at the American Psychological Association, the National Institute of Mental Health, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Department of Defense. She served as Research Program Manager for the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) from 2010 - 2018.

Simon Wells ( Acacia 17) served for 30 years with London’s Metropolitan Police, during which time he was Course Director of the U.K. National Hostage Crisis Negotiation Course and Head of Operations for Crisis Negotiation in London. In 2008 he was seconded to the U.K.’s Civil Service to support the counter-terrorism effort within the U.K., Iraq, Afghanistan and other theatres of operation. Most recently he has been supporting the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) interrogation training, and currently is the Research to Practice Fellow for the Centre for Research and Evidence in Security and Threat (CREST) at Lancaster University (U.K.).


Read more
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