Cognitive Interview Technique

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Cognitive Interview Technique Eye-witness accounts are unreliable which has led to attempts by researchers to find methods that improve the reliability of eye-witness accounts. The cognitive Interview technique is a technique used for questioning by police to enhance retrieval of information from the witnesses’ memory. The techniques of the cognitive interview: -The interviewer tries to mentally reinstate the environmental and personal context of the crime for the witness, perhaps by asking them about their general activates and feelings on the day. This could include sights, sounds, feelings and emotional the weather etc. -Witnesses are asked to report the incident from different perspective describing what they think other witness (or even criminals themselves) might have seen. -Recounting the incident in a different narrative order. Geiselman and fisher proposed that due to the recency effect, people tend to recall more recent events more clearly than others. Witnesses should be encouraged to work backwards from the end to the beginning. -Witnesses are asked to report every detail, even if they think that detail is trivial. In this way, apparently unimportant detail might act as a trigger for key information about the event. It is believed that the change of narrative order and change of perceptive techniques aid recall because they reduce witness use of prior knowledge, expectations or schema. A psychology laboratory experiment conducted by Geiselman et al. (1985) compared the cognitive interview with a standard police interview and hypnosis. Aim Geiselman (1985) set out to investigate the effectiveness of the cognitive interview. Method: Participants viewed a film of a violent crime and after 48 hours, were interviewed by a policeman using one of three methods the cognitive interview; a standard interview used by the Los Angeles Police; or an
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