Cognitive Interview

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  • The Cognitive Interview
    • Aim
      • Take account of known cognitive functions
      • Avoid leading the witness
    • Principle Assumptions
      • Memory is an inter-connected network so there are multiple routes to the same point
      • Retrieval is easier when context can be fully visualised (CUE DEPENDANT RECALL)
    • The interviewer asks...
      • Context
        • Recreate the context at the same time of the incident, including environment & emotional state
      • Focus
        • Focused Retrieval
          • Allow witness to talk uninterrupted & ask them to report everything, however trivial it may seem
      • Variety
        • Extensive Retrieval
          • Witnesses recall from different perspectives (e.g. from victims perspective)
          • Witnesses recall information in different orders
    • The Enhanced CI
      • Witness Compatible Questioning
        • Interviews must alter to meet the needs of the witness. Language should be tailored to suit each witness
      • Minimising Distractions
      • Relaxation
        • Encourage witness to relax, pause when necessary & speak slowly
      • Be Non- Judgemental
      • Review
        • Review the eye witness descriptions carefully
    • Geiselmann study
      • P's viewed a violent crime and interviewed 48 hours later
      • Interviews used: Standard interview, interview under hypnosis and CI
      • Ci had highest recall followed by hypnosis
    • Fisher Study
      • The 7 CI trained detectives gathered 47% more information than before they were trained and 63% more than non-trained detectives
      • Used real detectives & real crimes
    • Evaluation
      • Time consuming & costly
      • Witness must be wiling to spend extra time as CI is longer than a standard interview
      • Interviewers must be well trained so they can follow procedure to lead to extra information

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