Cognitive Interview Procedure

Cognitive Interview Procedure

Step 1: Build rapport.
(i) Personalise the interview.
Exchange names. Make sure the witness is comfortable and is willing to try to remember as much as possible. Ask the witness to give as many details as possible but not to guess or fabricate.
(ii) Transfer control to the witness.

Step 2: Recreate the context of the original event and ask the witness to report in detail.
To reinstate context, invite the witness to close his or her eyes and place him or herself back at the scene.

Step 3: Open-ended narration.
(i) Request narrative description.
(ii) Focused retrieval.
(iii) Extensive retrieval.
(iv) Witness-compatible questioning.

Step 4: Closure.
Be sure to leave time to brief the witness and let him or her know what might happen next. Exchange contact information and encourage the witness to get in touch if he or she remembers additional details.

Wells, G. L., Memon, A. & Penrod, S. D. (2006). Eyewitness evidence: Improving its probative value. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 7(2), 45-75.

About Stu Dunn

With a background in sales and behavioural science, I enjoy learning more about people, behaviour, psychology - which led into motivation - and more recently - sales again. Having started my own real estate company with my wife, it's time to merge interests.
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