Moving forward: Bringing about change in interrogation practice

Research

The scientific consensus is that current interrogation practice, both in criminal justice and human intelligence-gathering contexts, would benefit from major overhaul. While there is surely more research to be done on developing and validating evidence-based techniques, there is little disagreement among interrogation specialists that the time is ripe to move practice in the direction of evidence-based techniques. A critical question is how this change is to occur. Despite the amount of research on interrogation, to date there has been no systematic effort to understand how to effectively implement evidence-based interrogation techniques. This is the focus of our proposal. Our broad aim is to apply well-established bodies of work in other domains (e.g., change management, organizational justice) in order to answer the following questions. First, what are the predictors of openness and resistance to change towards evidence-based methods (Study 1)? Second, to what extent can openness to change be promoted through psychological interventions (Study 2)? From a policy perspective, our goal is to provide a framework that can be used to facilitate training in a variety of interrogation techniques.

This project is led by Jonathan Jackson and has been funded by the FBI.