Cognitive Interview

Eyewitness information is the key element in solving many crimes, yet the police are often poorly trained in conducting information-gathering interviews, and they make avoidable mistakes. To rectify this situation, Ronald Fisher and Edward Geiselman developed the Cognitive Interview (CI) procedure to collect information from cooperative witnesses. The CI techniques are based on scientific principles of cognitive and social psychology and are intended to facilitate witness memory and communication between the witness and the interviewer. Laboratory and field tests have shown that the CI increases considerably the amount of information obtained from witnesses while maintaining high accuracy. This entry describes the core elements of the CI, empirical tests to validate the procedure, and its various applications and limitations.

Police investigators depend heavily on eyewitness evidence to ...

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