Unit 1 | Cognitive key issue - cognitive interview (Edexcel)

key issue

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  • Created on: 26-04-12 13:44
Preview of Unit 1 | Cognitive key issue - cognitive interview (Edexcel)

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Key issue: The cognitive
This is a technique used by the police to interview eye witnesses to help them to
recall an incident in as much detail, and with the most accuracy possible.
It involves 4 basic concepts ­
Recreating the context of the incident (e.g. remember an image of
the setting ­ feelings, weather, people etc)
Reporting every detail of the incident, even if it seems irrelevant (anything that you can
remember, even if it doesn't seem to link to the incident)
Reporting the incident in any order (backwards, or by starting at a memorable point,
going backwards or forwards)
Describing the incident from the perspective of someone else (put yourself in the place
of someone who might have been watching the incident)
Strengths ­
The interview technique is more open and less interrogatory than traditional techniques.
It is designed to prevent memory contamination by keeping questions open.
Geiselman found that this technique yielded 35% more information than traditional
Weaknesses ­
Some experts claim that this technique can lead to incorrect recall as witnesses may
guess when they put themselves in the place of someone else.
Police officers may be reluctant to use this technique as it's time consuming. Witnesses
don't like to wait around at a crime scene either, generally.
This technique requires specialist training and some officers may not have received this.
Also they may not realise the significance of the technique so may not apply it properly.
Child witnesses have trouble with this technique ­ e.g. vocabulary.


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