Cognitive interview

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  • The cognitive interview
    • 1: Report everything
      • Including every detail of the event even though it may seem irrelevant.
    • 2: Context reinstatement
      • Mentally recreating the environment and contacts from the original event.
    • 3: Reverse order:
      • Finding alternative ways to view the event to reduce schemas.
    • 4: Changing the perspective:
      • Imagining that you are another witness for example.
    • All components 1-4 must be used but may not be used in that order.
    • A meta-analysis of 53 studies found on average an increase of 34% in the amount of correct information generated when using the CI.
      • Most studies only tested college students so lack generalising to the population
    • Milne and Bull: Found if one component is used and tested against a control group there is not much of a difference. However when the components are used together there is a significant difference.
    • Kebble and Wagstaff: found that many police forces tend to use context reinstatement and report everything to deal with EWT
      • The technique requires more time and specialist training and so there is not enough time to perform it fully. They only use it to the extent the officer feels necessary.
        • An enhanced version of the CI included probing a witness's mental image of the event. This places even greater demands on the interviewer. So training is a critical issue.


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