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The Cognitive Interview

The What, Why, When, Who, not so much Where, but definitely How

Sam Blakeley

on 15 October 2013

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Transcript of The Cognitive Interview

What is it and why?
Your task
Using your skills as a psychologist, evaluate the Cognitive Interview. Write your points in the 'Evaluation' table on your Cognitive Interview worksheet
This should include all the positive points you can gather as well as the negative.
Evaluation remarks might include, but aren't restricted to:
Supporting/Contradictory evidence
Methodological strengths/weaknesses
Real-world applications
Once you have your evaluative points...
You must now make an essay plan for the 12 mark question we saw earlier:

Outline and evaluate the cognitive interview as a method for gaining accurate eyewitness testimony (12 marks)
The Cognitive Interview
Question you should all be able to answer by the end of this lesson:
Outline and evaluate the cognitive interview as a method for gaining accurate eyewitness testimony (12 marks)
The Cognitive Interview - 4 key features
Context Reinstatement


- mentally put the eyewitness back in the scene. Get them to recall the weather, how they felt etc.
Report everything
- Recount every detail you can, even if it doesn't seem relevant
Recall from changed perspective
- Try to describe the event from someone else's viewpoint as well as your own.
Recall in reverse order
Report the event from different points in time, moving backwards and forwards
Quick Quiz Time!
No notes!
Q1: Who researched real life interviews and found issues with them? (1 mark)
Q2. In light of research such as this, who developed the Cognitive Interview? (1 mark)
Q3. What were the 4 key principles of a Cognitive Interview? (4 marks)
Q4. Later, the 'Enhanced Cognitive Interview' was proposed - name 3 of the 7 features they added (3 marks)
Q1. Fisher et al. (1987) studied real-life interviews for four months and found various problems with them - what kind of problems do you remember?
Q2. Fisher & Geiselman (1992) developed the Cognitive Interview
Q3. See next frame
Q4. Fisher & Geiselman (1992) developed the 'Enhanced Cognitive Interview', which included the following tips:
Minimise distractions
Actively listen
Ask open-ended questions
Pause after each response
Avoid interruption
Encourage the use of imagery
Adapt language to suit the witness and avoid judgemental comments
How well did you do?
Remember: These 12 marks consist of 6 marks for AO1, and 6 marks for AO2
Calculate your score (/9 marks)
No notes, no conferring!
Evaluation - Further research
Using pages 20-21 of your textbooks, look up further research which could be used to evaluate the Cognitive Interview
Again, this might include:
Supporting/Contradictory Evidence
Methodological issues
Real-world applications
I would like you to create this essay plan in exam conditions. That means no talking and no notes!
Homework - Topic Roundup ESSAY
Outline and evaluate research into the accuracy of Eyewitness Testimony (12 marks)
AO1 = 6 marks
AO2 = 6 marks
Full transcript