A free account or not? Its effect upon information yield in strategic interviews with suspects

Journal article


van Beek, M., Bull, R. and Mijalkovic, S. 2022. A free account or not? Its effect upon information yield in strategic interviews with suspects. Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling. https://doi.org/10.1002/jip.1600
Authorsvan Beek, M., Bull, R. and Mijalkovic, S.
Abstract

Asking suspects for a free account (FA) at the start of an interview is considered good practice in a growing number of police organisations, whereas in others it still is not commonplace. This study explored whether interviews with or without such an invitation yielded more information from guilty suspects. Students in safety and security committed a mock crime and were then interviewed using a strategy of gradual disclosure of evidence, in the experimental condition preceded with an FA invitation (n = 20) and without such an invitation in the control condition (n = 17). On average, relatively little information was collected in the FA phase and far more in the subsequent gradual disclosure phase. However, the FA condition yielded seven confessions, four of which were given already in the FA phase. The No FA condition yielded only two confessions. Other differences in yield were not found. These findings indicate that an FA invitation could lead to some relevant and important information, such as a confession, being gathered already at an early stage of an interview, and that such an invitation does not hamper the gathering of further information later in the interview.

Keywordssuspects; police organisations; interviews
Year2022
JournalJournal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
PublisherWiley
ISSN 1544-4767
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1002/jip.1600
Web address (URL)https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/jip.1600
Accepted author manuscript
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File Access Level
Open
Publication dates
Online19 Sep 2022
Publication process dates
Accepted07 Sep 2022
Deposited14 Oct 2022
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https://repository.derby.ac.uk/item/9q443/a-free-account-or-not-its-effect-upon-information-yield-in-strategic-interviews-with-suspects

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