Cognitive interview.



  • 1) Report everything: the interviewer encourages the reporting of every single detail of the event.
  • 2) Mental reinstatement of original context: the interviewer encourages the interviewee to mentally recreate the environment and contacts from the original incident (including recall of the scene, the weather, thoughts, preceeding events).
  • 3) Changing the order: the interviewer may try alternative ways through the timeline of the incident.
  • 4) Changing the perspective: the interviewer is asked to recall the incident from multiple perspectives. 

Evidence - FISHER ET AL.

  • Aim/hypothesis: the aim of this study was to further test the validity of the cognitive interview technique using a field experiment. Previous research had mainly used laboratory experiments and the cognitive interview seemed highly effective in such studies.
  • Method/design: Sixteen experienced police inspectors from Miami, Florida, conducted two interviews on 47 witnesses or victims of shoplifting or mugging. Between the two interviews, seven of the police officers were trained in using the cognitive interview technique. The other nine officers formed the control group. The researchers measured both the increase in facts elicited in the second interview compared to the first, and the number of facts elicited by the police officers in the cognitive interview group compared to the control group. The independent variable was the type of interview the police officers used on the second interview (cognitive or standard) and the dependent variable was the number of accurately recalled facts produced by each of these techniques.
  • Results: Results provided support for the cognitive interviewing technique. The cognitive interviewers obtained 47% more facts relating to matters already examined whereas there was no gain from the second iinterview for the control group. 
  • Conclusions: Cognitive interviews are a…


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