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The Cognitive Interview Technique

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  1. The Cognitive Interview Technique Presented by Louise & charlotte.

  2. The Cognitive Interview Psychologists over the years have been trying to develop memory retrieval techniques aimed at trying to entice more accurate information out of eyewitnesses, as they found that when asking eyewitnesses for accounts of incidents, they had often been fallible or incomplete. An example of this is the Cognitive Interview Schedule; this was developed by Geiselman in 1985. This technique was designed to be used by police investigators.

  3. The Interview Technique The interview is based on four instructions: • To recreate the context of the original incident – however this does not evolve revisiting the scene of the crime, but trying to recall an image of the setting including details such as the weather, lighting, distinctive smells, any people nearby, what you were feeling at the time, etc. • To recall the event in different orders – you are encouraged to describe the event in reverse order, or to start with a particular aspect of the scene which seems most memorable and work backwards or forwards from that point. • To change perspectives – you are asked to attempt to describe the incident from the perspective of other people who were present at the time. • To report every detail – you are required to report back any information about the event you can remember, even if it doesn’t seem to have a significant part in the crime.

  4. Research on The Cognitive Interview Geiselman and his colleges tested the effectiveness of the Cognitive Interview schedule by comparing this to a standard police interviewing technique. They started out by showing a police training video of violent crimes to a group of 89 students. Then around 48 hours later, the students were interviewed individually by American enforcements (detectives, CIA investigators and private investigators.).

  5. Research on The Cognitive Interview The interviewers had either been trained using standard police interviewing techniques or in the new Cognitive Interview Schedule. Then each interview was taped and then individually analyzed for accuracy of recall. Results were recorded as • The number of correct items recalled. • The number of errors – the category was subdivided into: a) Incorrect items - (the number of items incorrectly recalled) b) Confabulated items – (the number of items described that were not actually shown in the video.)

  6. Research on The Cognitive Interview The students recalled considerably more items in the Cognitive interview than in the standard interview, however the error rates were very similar. It’s important to note that the participants in this study were undergraduate students who watched videotapes and so the study can be criticized as it can come across as artificial.

  7. Research on The Cognitive Interview However in 1989Fisher trained a group of detectives in Florida using the Cognitive Interview Schedule and then assessed their performance when interviewing genuine witnesses to crimes. When the detective’s performance was compared with the pre-training levels, it was found that the information gain was in some cases as much as 47%.

  8. Evaluation of the Cognitive Interview There have been a number of studies that have been investigated that have tested the effectiveness of the Cognitive Interview Schedule. Bekerian and Dennett in 1993 reviewed 27 studies and found that in all cases that the Cognitive Interview Schedule provided more accurate information than the other interview procedures.

  9. Evaluation of the Cognitive Interview More research has shown that a modified Cognitive Interview Schedule is also useful for interviewing children. Holliday in 2003 showed to groups of children, aged 4 to 5 and 9 to 10 years old, a five-minute video of a child’s birthday party. The next day all the children were interviewed about what they had seen on the video. They were interviewed by using either the standard interview or the Cognitive Interview. The findings showed that the use of the Cognitive Interview Schedule resulted in more accurate details recalled about the video compared with the standard interview.