The principle of reciprocity in Scharff interviews

Nicola Palena, Pär‐Anders Granhag, Aldert Vrij, Robin Orthey, Roberto Monticciolo, Letizia Caso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Studies on the collection of information (intelligence) show the effectiveness of the Scharff technique and the principle of reciprocity. These two aspects have never been considered at the same time. In the present experiment, we compared the effect of two different forms of reciprocity (intrinsic vs. instrumental) and their combination on the elicitation of information in Scharff interviews. Participants were asked to imagine that an interview took place and were exposed to four reciprocity conditions (no reciprocity, intrinsic reciprocity, instrumental reciprocity, intrinsic and instrumental reciprocity). The results showed that instrumental reciprocity resulted in more information than intrinsic reciprocity.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1629
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Issue number2
Early online date22 Feb 2024
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024


  • collection of information
  • Scharff technique
  • reciprocity
  • interrogation

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