Study provides insight into 'rapport-building' during victim interviews

January 22, 2020

A University of Liverpool research paper, published in Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, provides details of the approaches needed to help build rapport with victims of crime during interviews.

Interviewing victims is one of the most challenging aspects of sexual offence investigations. Victims can be unwilling to reveal information, specifically within a formal interviewing setting and it is crucial to obtain information since they are often the only source of information.

In the UK, US, Canada and Israel there are a number of models and protocols in place, such as the 'PEACE' model and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) interview protocol, which helps to ensure a non-accusatory, information gathering approach to interviewing victims.

South Korea

In South Korea, sexual offences are a serious social problem. According to recent official statistics, the total number of sexual crimes occurring per year rose 12% from 2014 to 2018.

The Korean National Police Agency has attempted to improve competences in investigating sex offences, with an emphasis on interviewing due to the limited amount of physical evidence that is often a hallmark of such cases. Since 2004 KNPA have introduced the PEACE model to spread the recent knowledge on investigative interviewing principles and techniques. The KNPA also executed nationwide video-recorded interview system to improve the admissibility of police interviews and to protect the human rights of interviewees in 2007. Further, the KNPA disseminated the NICHD protocol to assist officers interviewing child victims in 2010.

To enhance and maintain the officers' expertise related to the guidelines introduced, the KPIA (Korean Police Investigation Academy), which is the professional training institution of the KNPA, provides relevant investigative interviewing courses composed of learning theories and simulation exercises

Rapport-based interviewing

Unfortunately, research has found that Korean officers often do not adopt the methods recommended by the NICHD in practice. Especially, the establishment and building of rapport when interviewing victims. Rapport-building offers a friendly atmosphere and consequently reduces the uneasiness that may exert a negative impact on information gathered

Rapport-based interviewing can mitigate the negative feelings of child victims during police interviews and increase the amount of information generated. Despite these findings, little is known about how to create an environment of rapport and, more specifically, there is very little known about the set of behaviours or approaches that underpin it.

To find out more researchers from the University's Centre for Critical and Major Incident Psychology, led by Centre Director Professor Laurence Alison, analysed over 100 hours of KNPA investigative interviews using a framework called ORBIT.

ORBIT

The observing rapport-based interpersonal techniques (ORBIT) framework analyses rapport-based interviewing skills along two dimensions: motivational interviewing (MI) skills and interpersonal competence (use of adaptive interviewing behaviours and absence of maladaptive interviewing behaviours).

MI is a counselling method that helps people resolve ambivalent feelings and insecurities to find the internal motivation they need to change their behaviour. For example finding the motivation to tell an interviewer what has happened or details of a perpetrator despite wanting to forget or not want to talk about it.

The researchers coded 103 hours of investigative interviews with sexual offence victims - a sample of 86 single victim cases conducted by 26 police interviewers in South Korea. In all cases, there was a subsequent conviction.

Results

Results showed that humanistic approaches positively influence adaptive interactions between interviewer and victim whilst simultaneously reducing maladaptive ones. This results in an increase in yield.

Researchers also found that interviewer adaptive behaviours directly increase victim adaptive behaviour (with the same effect for maladaptive behaviour). Victim adaptive behaviour is positively associated with interview yield, and victim maladaptive behaviour is negatively associated with it.

Professor Alison, said: "These results suggest that interviews conducted in a humanistic-consistent fashion strongly positively influence adaptive victim behaviour, which, in turn, increases interview yield."
-end-
The full paper, entitled 'Observing Rapport-Based Interpersonal Techniques to Gather Information from Victims', can be found here https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2020-01274-001.html#s21

University of Liverpool

Related Psychology Articles from Brightsurf:

More than one cognition: A call for change in the field of comparative psychology
In a paper published in the Journal of Intelligence, researchers argue that cognitive studies in comparative psychology often wrongly take an anthropocentric approach, resulting in an over-valuation of human-like abilities and the assumption that cognitive skills cluster in animals as they do in humans.

Psychology research: Antivaxxers actually think differently than other people
As vaccine skepticism has become increasingly widespread, two researchers in the Texas Tech University Department of Psychological Sciences have suggested a possible explanation.

In court, far-reaching psychology tests are unquestioned
Psychological tests are important instruments used in courts to aid legal decisions that profoundly affect people's lives.

Psychology program for refugee children improves wellbeing
A positive psychology program created by researchers at Queen Mary University of London focuses on promoting wellbeing in refugee children.

Psychology can help prevent deadly childhood accidents
Injuries have overtaken infectious disease as the leading cause of death for children worldwide, and psychologists have the research needed to help predict and prevent deadly childhood mishaps, according to a presentation at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

Raising the standard for psychology research
Researchers from Stanford University, Arizona State University, and Dartmouth College used Texas Advanced Computing Center supercomputers to apply more rigorous statistical methods to psychological studies of self-regulation.

Psychology: Robot saved, people take the hit
To what extent are people prepared to show consideration for robots?

Researchers help to bridge the gap between psychology and gamification
A multi-disciplinary research team is bridging the gap between psychology and gamification that could significantly impact learning efforts in user experience design, healthcare, and government.

Virtual reality at the service of psychology
Our environment is composed according to certain rules and characteristics which are so obvious to us that we are scarcely aware of them.

Modeling human psychology
A human being's psychological make-up depends on an array of emotional and motivational parameters.

Read More: Psychology News and Psychology Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.