Witness interview training: a field evaluation

Sarah MacDonald, Brent Snook, Rebecca Jane Milne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1493 Downloads (Pure)


The effect of a witness interviewing training program on interviewing performance in actual investigations was examined. Eighty interviews, conducted by police officers in one Canadian organization, were coded for the presence of 38 desirable practices. Results showed that, in general, trained interviewers outperformed their untrained counterparts. Specifically, there was a large improvement in engage and explain behaviors (d = 1.65), a moderate improvement in account behaviors (d = 0.54), and a large improvement in closure behaviors (d = 0.90). Trained interviewers also used more open-ended questions and fewer leading questions. The implications of the findings for transferring interviewing skills from the classroom to the field are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77–84
JournalJournal of Police and Criminal Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date14 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • witness interviewing
  • training
  • police
  • evaluation


Dive into the research topics of 'Witness interview training: a field evaluation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this