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Interview and Interrogation Techniques


Throughout history, techniques for conducting interviews and interrogations have changed. Investigative conducting interviews, however, did not start to change from reproachful techniques to scientifically supported approaches until cases of false confessions that led to erroneous convictions were made public. These cases replaced “third-degree” techniques of corporal and compelled disclosure. The application of interview and interrogation tactics in forensic science investigations is the primary focus of this research study. This research paper aims to decode the efficacy of different techniques in eliciting reliable and accurate information from victims, informants, and perpetrators during interrogation procedures. The Reid technique, cognitive interviews, and the peace model are only a few examples of the different Interview and interrogation tactics reviewed in the study, along with their benefits and drawbacks. In particular, the potential for false confessions and incorrect convictions is discussed concerning the ethical issues surrounding the employment of these techniques. The research underlines the significance of forensic interviewers’ and interrogators’ specialized training and the necessity of continually evaluating and improving these procedures. This research provides insight into the ethical considerations surrounding interviews and interrogations, such as coercion, deception, and fraud. The paper delves into the interview techniques used by interrogators, such as leading open and closed-ended questions. The study highlights the interrogation methods utilized in forensic science investigations and their effects on the criminal justice system, which are all critically analyzed.


Intelligence task entails conducting criminal investigations since it is via these operations that crimes are uncovered and suspects are captured. Interviewing and interrogation are two of the most effective tactics in criminal investigations. The investigator can gather the information to help them investigate a case using these two tools. Interview and interrogation techniques are employed to obtain accurate information from subjects of interest, such as victims, perpetrators, and informants. According to Cleary & Bull (2019), forensic agencies rely heavily on these procedures to obtain information and evidence from suspects. These approaches use a variety of abilities and plans, and meticulous planning and execution are done before setting up an interview. Effective interviewing and questioning techniques can frequently be the distinction between cracking a case and missing out on important evidence.

Nevertheless, the techniques employed in these procedures are not infallible and may result in false confessions, incorrect convictions, and other unforeseen outcomes. In order to gather correct information, this study paper seeks to provide a thorough review of the interviewing and questioning methods applied in many sectors. Also, it will go over the many interrogation techniques, such as the Reid approach and the cognitive Interview. The application of interview and interrogation tactics in forensic science investigations will be the primary emphasis of the paper. The efficiency of various interview and interrogation tactics employed in forensic science investigations will be assessed in this study, along with their benefits and drawbacks. Ultimately, the research paper will evaluate the future of these approaches and look into the need for continual evaluation and improvement of these procedures.

Purpose of conducting Interview and interrogation techniques

Police investigations can be unpredictable in terms of how events develop and new evidence is made available. This assumption also applies to suspect examinations and interrogations. At various points during the inquiry, participants in a criminal incident may be identified as suspects. When it comes to how things unfold and new information becomes available, police investigations can be unpredictable. This presumption also holds for interviews and exams of suspects. People are questioned and interviewed to get information from them that can be utilized to solve crimes or obtain vital intelligence.

Law enforcement officials and intelligence services question and interview suspects. Interviewing subjects is often how information is obtained. Finding trustworthy and accurate information that can be used to help solve a crime or give helpful intelligence is the goal of an interview. The most extreme degree of questioning a suspect is during interrogation after solid probable cause has been proven and the person has been taken into custody for the alleged crime. With the integration of these approaches, police officers devise a plan that is aimed at obtaining information. Individuals are often reminded of their liberties and rights before giving out any information since it may be used against them in court. Moreover, these techniques are guided by ethical considerations, and coercion may lead to the providence of unreliable information.

Literature review

Techniques for interviewing and interrogating perpetrators and informants are essential tools in forensic science. These methods compile proof, establish a case, and get an indictment. The Reid Method, Cognitive Interviewing, and the PEACE model are interview and interrogation methods applied in forensic science that will be evaluated in this literature study. This review will also review how well these approaches work, outline their limitations, and how they have transformed over time. The primary purpose of interrogations, according to (Geven et al., 2020), is to induce a suspected criminal under investigation to confess to his or her offenses. He established that law enforcement is trained to utilize techniques like inducing alienation and sensory deprivation during interrogations to persuade individuals to retell their criminal behavior. On the other hand, the purpose of a conversation is to share facts that can help resolve the relevant crime.

Cognitive interviews

One of the techniques employed is Cognitive interviews to improve the recollection of precise details about a crime. Fisher and Geiselman (2019) noted that this method, founded on cognitive psychology concepts, is designated to improve the preciseness and clarity of the informant’s testimony by eliminating interviewer bias. During a cognitive examination, the specialist encourages the interviewee to provide as much specific information as possible, refraining from interjecting and asking leading questions. However, (Fisher & Geiselman, 2019) compare this technique to conventional ones and deduce that this approach produces more concise and comprehensive information from the subjects. The recovery of accurate information is attributed to the technique’s emphasis on recovering in-depth, context-specific information and its ability to lessen the effects of biases and distortions in memory. Nonetheless, this approach can only be used for subjects with strong memory capabilities. For instance, if the interviewer employs the technique inappropriately, cognitive interviewing might result in a rise in false or inconsistent information.

Reid Approach

Forensic science practitioners frequently question suspects in criminal investigations using the Reid Method. According to (Salvati & Houck, 2019), this approach is predicated on the notion that deception is a cognitively intensive activity that behavioral clues can recognize. The method is intended to be a structured, nine-step process that includes becoming acquainted with the suspect, presenting them with proof, and persuading them to confess. This technique includes confrontation, establishing a theme or rationale for the crime, interrupting the suspect’s denials, getting beyond their resistance, and giving them a chance to confess. The Reid Technique’s detractors have expressed concern over its propensity to lead to false confessions. They contend that the technique’s confrontational tone, psychological pressure, and manipulation might cause suspects to confess to acts they did not execute. The method can also result in racial and ethnic bias, with suspects from minority groups more likely to be wrongly charged and confess, according to certain research. Despite these reservations, the Reid Method is often employed in forensic and law enforcement investigations.

The PEACE model

The PEACE model, utilized in the United Kingdom, is an alternative interrogation approach that focuses on connecting with the suspect and getting genuine information rather than obtaining a confession (Salvati & Houck, 2019). While questioning suspects, the technique is meant to be more conversational and interactive. Details about the case and the suspect are obtained during the planning and preparation phase, and an interview strategy is developed. When eliciting confessions, the PEACE model is criticized as less successful than the Reid Method, especially when the subject is reluctant to comply. Supporters contend that the model is a more moral and trustworthy method of questioning that lowers the possibility of false confessions and enhances the accuracy of the data obtained during investigations.

Kinesics interviewing

The study of non-verbal communication is known as kinesics. Because suspects and persons of interest in criminal cases frequently unintentionally exhibit telling symptoms of dishonesty, receptivity, and anxiousness through body language, it is particularly helpful for law enforcement officials (Geven et al., 2020). Kinesics is now a common component of police interrogations. The kinesics approach of respondent evaluation entails assessing how their body language complements what they say. These movements, in addition to general visual signals, are frequently quite useful in determining honesty. Police officers look into a case search for specific actions, often known as confession behaviors, that suggests guilt. These include sobbing, slouching on a chair, or speaking in an explanatory manner.

To gauge how the interviewee subject will respond to stress, the kinesics interview approach is used. In the kinesics interview, various question types may provide light on the subject’s guilt or innocence. This method identifies and categorizes actions so the interviewer can quickly recognize them and determine whether the interviewed individual is likely acting truthfully or deceptively (Hamel & Ennis, 2022). Additionally, it gives background information on the causes underlying why such behaviors may or may not manifest. The second part of the text details crucial facts for conducting an effective interview or interrogation. The subject matter of kinesics interrogation is discussed, and stress-response emotions like rage and depression are determined.

Comparing past and contemporary interview and interrogation approaches

Although interrogation professionals have historically had difficulty extracting information from gullible individuals, there have been considerable changes in how people are questioned over the past century. This review will provide an overview of how interrogation methods have evolved, starting with older coercive procedures likely to yield false confessions and concluding with present-day rapport-based methods. American police agencies frequently used “third-degree” interrogation techniques throughout the first half of the 20th century (Bull & Rachlew, 2020). These techniques comprised physical and psychological intimidation and were intended to get confessions. These techniques included coercive ones that were simple to refute due to the absence of supporting evidence and physical violence such as whippings and torture. Even though their use had significantly declined, these strategies eventually gave way to ones that included psychological pressure, deception, and manipulation. Such accusatory strategies have been frequently employed in other nations, including the U.K.

The guilt presumption and confession elicitation principles are at the heart of contemporary accusatorial strategies. As a result, accusatorial interrogations are distinguished by a dynamic between the interrogator and the suspect in which the interrogator is in charge. However, as instances of false confessors being wrongfully convicted began to surface, interrogation procedures and regulations underwent a paradigm shift. Notably, a string of erroneous convictions in the United Kingdom sparked several changes that resulted in using the PEACE approach (Salvati & Houck, 2019). In sharp contrast to conventional accusatorial tactics, the PEACE approach to interviewing aims to elicit knowledge rather than extract confessions, which is noteworthy (Bull & Rachlew, 2020). In the U.S., science-based interviewing has been developed and improved since the introduction of PEACE as a result of many studies. Scholars have developed a paradigm based on rapport-based information-gathering methods in light of such research. This conceptualization has caused a shift away from “interrogation,” a term that conjures up feelings of guilt-presumption and a desire for confession and is frequently associated with adversarial questioning of suspects, and toward “investigative interviewing” questioning to elicit precise and thorough information.

My perspective

Techniques used during interviews and interrogations are divisive and frequently discussed in law enforcement. Some contend that harsh or aggressive interrogation techniques, like reality confrontation or psychological manipulation, might result in false confessions and compromise the fairness of the legal system. Others claim these methods are required to crack complex cases and get information from resistant individuals. While (Geven et al., 2020) investigated the use of physiological patterns for recognizing hidden information to distinguish between genuine and fake confessions. In his investigation, the participants were asked to respond to a fictitious criminal scenario after being randomly allocated to either the guilty or innocent category.

The findings demonstrated that physiological indicators, such as skin conductance and heart rate, were more accurate in spotting fake confessions than self-reported indicators, including confidence ratings. Particularly, those who gave false confessions demonstrated more pronounced physiological reactions to crucial details about the crime, demonstrating knowledge of the event that could only have come from the culprit. Their study makes a case for the validity of interview and interrogation approaches in discriminating between truthful and false confessions. Moreover, individuals have mastered the functionality of these techniques, and one can pass a test while offering a wrongful confession. People have learned to control triggers to pass interrogation tests. The validity of these techniques is questionable, as innocent individuals may be wrongfully convicted while the actual perpetrators are set free.


Interviews and interrogations have been demonstrated to effectively uncover the truth and protect the innocent. The investigator must, however, be aware of the distinctions between the two strategies and their intended outcomes. The science of interrogation and interviewing has arguably analyzed techniques ranging from third-degree through contemporary rapport-based techniques. Modern grounded science methodologies are based on theories in psychology and focus on establishing a connection with a topic and gathering information pertinent to the research (Hamel & Ennis, 2022). Reducing the number of erroneous indictments based on misleading information or disclosures has been essential while ensuring accountability is carried out acceptably and effectively by switching from a revelation-focused approach to a data-collection one.

The objective of these tools has been described while highlighting important variances. However, (Hamel & Ennis, 2022) state that interrogations should only be utilized when other methods of gathering information have failed. The authors recommend non-accusatory interviews since they can help uncover the truth while preventing erroneous accusations against individuals. By doing this, the perpetrators will be held accountable, and the truth will ultimately prevail. Moreover, this study sought to examine the efficacy of various interview and interrogation methods employed in forensic science. According to the literature review and empirical study, the Reid Technique, the PEACE model, and cognitive interviewing are often employed techniques, yet each has benefits and drawbacks. In contrast to cognitive interviewing and the PEACE model, which have shown more promise in getting reliable information from interviewers, the empirical investigation indicated that using the Reid Technique could occasionally lead to a false confession.


Bull, R., & Rachlew, A. (2020). Investigative interviewing: From England to Norway and Beyond. I SJ Barela, M. Fallon, G. Gaggioli & JD Ohlin (Red.), Interrogation and torture: integrating efficacy with law and morality.

Cleary, H. M., & Bull, R. (2019). Jail inmates’ perspectives on police interrogation. Psychology, Crime & Law25(2), 157–170.

Geven, L. M., Ben-Shakhar, G., Kassin, S., & Verschuere, B. (2020). Distinguishing true from false confessions using physiological patterns of concealed information recognition–A proof of concept study. Biological Psychology154, 107902.

HAMEL, J., & ENNIS, L. (2022). Holding Perpetrators Accountable. Gender and Domestic Violence: Contemporary Legal Practice and Intervention Reforms, 307.

Fisher, R. P., & Geiselman, R. E. (2019). Expanding the cognitive Interview to non-criminal investigations. In Evidence-Based Investigative Interviewing (pp. 1-28). Routledge.

Salvati, J. M., & Houck, S. C. (2019). Examining the causes and consequences of confession-eliciting tactics during interrogation. Journal of Applied Security Research14(3), 241–256.


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