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Forensic psychology
Forensic psychology

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2.2 The cognitive interview

Figure 5

Listen to Becky Milne, from the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies at the University of Portsmouth and a world-renowned expert on interviewing witnesses, describe the cognitive interview (CI).

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The CI contains four techniques for improving the information remembered by a witness:

  1. report everything
  2. reinstate context
  3. change order
  4. change perspective.

In addition, it is good interviewing practice to spend the initial part of the interview ‘establishing rapport’ with the witness and explaining the process. Likewise, a good interviewer will not rush a witness, nor interrupt them. They will also be sure to close the interview appropriately, providing the witness with a means of contacting them should they remember any additional information.