, Volume 28, Issue 1, pp 54-62

Interviewing to Elicit Cues to Deception: Improving Strategic Use of Evidence with General-To-Specific Framing of Evidence

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Abstract

Previous research has demonstrated that the strategic use of evidence (SUE) approach of interviewing criminal suspects is effective at eliciting cues to deception. This study aims at expanding on the SUE approach by testing the technique of general-to-specific evidence framing. We conducted an experiment using a mock terrorism paradigm. Guilty participants took part in a simulated act of terrorism, while innocent participants performed a similar act involving no transgression. All participants (N = 102) were then interviewed using one of four evidence disclosure styles (early disclosure, late disclosure, 2-step disclosure, or 4-step disclosure). We expected that disclosing evidence to the suspect gradually, with increasing specificity, would induce guilty suspects to alter their statements to a greater extent than innocent suspects. General-to-specific evidence framing effectively discriminated between guilty and innocent suspects, but results only partially supported the hypotheses.

This work is funded by the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group / J-FBI-10-009 awarded to Maria Hartwig. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government.