Getting information quickly: development of the Time-Critical Questioning framework

Lorraine Hope*, Feni Kontogianni, Alejandra De La Fuente Vilar, Wayne Thomas

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


In many operational contexts, obtaining accurate and targeted information in a time-critical manner is vital to (i) assess and neutralise immediate threats, (ii) inform critical decision-making and operational response, or (iii) expedite transmission of intelligence information under hostile conditions. Direct questioning approaches involving a sequence of direct and closed questions do not align with evidence-based questioning practices, and are likely to result in significant omissions. Research to date has entirely neglected this sharp-end questioning context. The current project developed a Time-Critical Questioning (TCQ) framework that i) quickly establishes rapport, and aligns the roles and goals between interviewer-interviewee; ii) draws on effective questioning practices; and iii) promotes reporting of target information. Following a laboratory-based proof of concept study (N = 111), we used a novel immersive methodology to assess the TCQ framework. In a pre-registered experiment, participants (N = 142) completed an Escape Room activity in small teams. Participants were then interviewed individually for 10 minutes using the TCQ framework, a Funnel Questioning approach, or the Direct approach. Participants interviewed using the Time-Critical Questioning framework reported significantly more correct information of tactical value (i.e., how to escape) relative to participants interviewed with the Direct approach.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2022
EventBASS22: Behavioural and Social Sciences in Security, 2022 - Lancaster, United Kingdom
Duration: 19 Jul 202221 Jul 2022


ConferenceBASS22: Behavioural and Social Sciences in Security, 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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