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

Becoming proficient with non verbal communication and teaching what I’ve learnt over the years has become an absolute passion of mine; starting with beginning the SDL Behavioural Science Facebook Page, then set up my first online course in 2011, and my first book on the subject True Lies, A Guide to Reading Faces, Interpreting Body Language & Detecting Deception in the Real World was published in 2013. During this time I’ve helped thousands of people around the world become proficient in reading body language, micro expressions and detecting deception – and I’d love to help you too.
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