Online interactions with the goal of eliciting intelligence or investigative information are, increasingly, a core activity in security contexts. To date, however, research has not assessed the extent to which information elicitation strategies designed for face-to-face interactions are effective in online contexts. The current research tested a rapport-based information elicitation approach for use with human intelligence (HUMINT) sources online. Following the development of a novel online methodology and extensive associated piloting, two versions of a rapport-based interviewing protocol were tested for respective use in situations where some key information is known to the interviewer or not. These protocols incorporated evidence-based interviewing practices for eliciting information in face-to-face interviews, including rapport-building, transfer of control, open prompts, confirmatory claims, and elements of motivational interviewing. In a pre-registered experiment, participants (N = 202) engaged as HUMINT mock-sources in an immersive online scenario that placed them in an information management dilemma in a subsequent online chat interview (i.e., text-based communication only). Rapport-based interviewing approaches produced significantly more units of information and were perceived more positively by participants (cf. participants interviewed using a direct approach). These results are promising and relevant for practitioners tasked with eliciting critical intelligence in online contexts from potentially reluctant sources.
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - 19 Jul 2022|
|Event||Behavioural and Social Sciences in Security, 2022 - Lancaster, United Kingdom|
Duration: 19 Jul 2022 → …
|Conference||Behavioural and Social Sciences in Security, 2022|
|Abbreviated title||BASS 22|
|Period||19/07/22 → …|