Facilitating disclosure in intelligence interviews: the joint influence of helpfulness priming and interpersonal approach

David Amon Neequaye, Karl Ask, Pär Anders Granhag, Aldert Vrij

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Abstract

This study examined the joint influence of helpfulness priming and a helpfulness‐focused interpersonal approach on information disclosure in an intelligence interview. We based the research on the theoretical proposition that consistency between an interviewee's primed dispositions and an interviewer's interpersonal approach would facilitate disclosure. Participants (N = 116) took on the role of an informant with information about an upcoming terror attack. Afterwards, an interviewer solicited information about the attack using an interpersonal approach that exhibited either high (helpfulness‐focused) or low (control) fit with helpfulness concerns. Prior to the interview, in a seemingly unrelated experiment, we primed participants' helpfulness motivation and assessed their cognitive accessibility to helpfulness‐related constructs. We observed that helpfulness priming increased information disclosure when the helpfulness‐focused interpersonal approach was used but not when the control protocol was used. This research suggests that implementation of an interpersonal approach that complements an interviewee's primed dispositions may function symbiotically with the previous priming to facilitate information disclosure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-334
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Volume15
Issue number3
Early online date20 Sep 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

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