Police interrogation from a social psychology perspective

M. Hartwig, P. Granhag, Aldert Vrij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interrogation of suspects is considered to be one of the most crucial stages in the investigative process. Cases of miscarriage of justice have led to public outcries for studies on the procedures, effectiveness and ethics of police interrogations. This article provides an overview of such studies of interrogation, and sheds light on two different interrogation techniques informed by a social psychological perspective. First, the effects of interrogation techniques that aim at obtaining confessions are discussed. Second, an overview is provided of techniques that emphasize the importance of obtaining the truth. Finally, in relation to recent findings from the area of psychology and law, the characteristics of a good interrogation are explored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-399
Number of pages21
JournalPolicing and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005


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