During a cognitive interview

During a cognitive interview, there is a likelihood of obtaining inaccurate information from the witnesses or even the suspects. The factor that makes information collected to be biased during a cognitive type of interview is exaggerating the information. According to their understanding, the suspects and the witnesses give information to make the information more acceptable by society and those playing a part in interviewing them. That makes the information biased, and the correct data will not be obtained as per the action of the event. The second factor is the distorted memory due to the effect of an incident. The witnesses and the suspects will be confused, and the memory will not depict what had happened and end up giving information according to their imaginations.
To obtain accurate information, a format should be followed to ensure all the information is collected without bias. The first stage that should be put in place is to ensure that the client’s memory is recalled. However, that is done in stages, which include the introduction part, which is meant to prepare an interviewee to be active in the presentation of the data. The second stage is creating a rapport with an interviewee. That helps an interviewee to develop trust and being comfortable in giving the information they have in detail. Creating a rapport also helps to restore the memory of the witness and giving reliable information without having a sense of hiding anything due to a lack of trust from the officers carrying out the interview process.
The third stage is carrying out the interview process. That is the most crucial part of the cognitive interview. To increase the accuracy of the discussion, there is a need to ask the respondents to close their eyes and recall what had happened in the scene. They can also describe a diagrammatic appearance of the scene, which will help them recall their memory and give an effective response. The officers who conduct an interview are not to interrupt the respondents unnecessarily but giving them time to explain everything in detail and even restate the previous scenario according to other people understanding of the incident.
The fourth stage is following up the narration. In that part, the officer carrying out the cognitive interview has to ask the witness or the suspect to narrate the incident in reverse order and determine if the information given before was accurate or it was just out of imaginations. The witness also is asked to give any other additional information from the incident. That helps ensure that the information given is accurate if the client can reverse the narration in chronological order. Biased information is also determined in this stage, and that is when the suspect or the witness is not responding correctly in that chronological order.
The fifth stage is posing a challenge. That applies mostly when interviewing a suspect and when a contradictory statement is mentioned during the narration. Questions need to be posed to clarify all the contradictory information given, and therefore, there is a need to be keen and listen carefully. The interviewer has to be more active and encourage them to give more information while making their clarifications. The information collected will help in determining the correct information given by the interviewee if they are accurate or not.
The last stage of the cognitive interview in determining accurate information is the closing of the interview. That will entail giving the witness the importance of carrying out the interview and maintaining the rapport created before starting the interview process. That will make an interviewee contact an interviewer whenever they remember additional information, which was crucial during the interview.
The information attained during an interview may have some problems that might arise between the interviewer and the interviewee. During a discussion process, the challenge that might arise is a misunderstanding of the question between the interviewee. That can be a great challenge that can hardly be fixed. Respondents find it hard to understand the questions asked and may end up giving information to the contrary where an interviewer may not be able to simplify the question further for the interviewee to understand it better. That becomes a challenge, and the interviewer will record the information not in the list according to the order of questions hence diverting the needs of the question according to the order that was to be followed. The information recorded gives the interviewers a hard time rearranging the answers as per the questions.
The information collected also may have some of the problems which might include deliberate lies. A witness may end up giving false information to cover faults from someone they feel they should not be found guilty. They give information to cover someone they love. The information may also include bias to find a suspect guilty, and this is because there might be a grudge that exists between them, and they have to confirm that they are guilty by all means. Suspects may give contradicting information to ensure that no clear picture of their acts is recorded, which is meant to cover up their faults. However, Lies can be determined by the officer by applying a reverse chronological order approach to determine the accuracy of the information given.
The last problem that may arise from the information collected is from the effect of memory. The suspect or the witness may not be able to remember everything vividly. The information collected will not capture everything as needed, but the respondent will try to give information from how they think it happened. The memory effect can be because of the effect of the incident that affected them or not being familiar with the incident. The information will not be accurate as needed by the officers who conduct the interview. However, some of the mistakes can be corrected, while some will not be easy to correct.
Some conditions lead to inaccurate information during an interview. The first condition which might result in inaccurate information collected during a cognitive interview is being unprepared for an interview. The witness may not be prepared to give out the information about the incident. A lack of research can cause that by asking other people to clarify them, they did not witness. Therefore, upon asked questions, they have no clue which may result in giving false information so that the officers may be content with whatever information they give. That will increase the likelihood of incorrect information.
The second condition that results in inaccurate information has a negative body language. That can cause the witness not to be willing to give the information required due to shyness, which will also make a witness not to maintain eye contact hence giving doubt to the officers collecting the information on the incident. They lack trust and end up recording the information they feel to be relevant and ignore the rest. That will make them record inaccurate information by ignoring some of the relevant information needed in the interview, which increases the likelihood of incorrect information.
Some conditions apply for accurate information during a cognitive interview. The first condition which should be put in place to collect the correct information during an interview is rehearsing on the better mode of answering questions. That also includes getting to know more about the incident from other people. Understanding the information you did not witness will give detailed information needed by the officers during an interview hence increasing the likelihood of accurate information.
The second condition is to have a positive body language. The witness needs to be willing to give the information without being timid. That will give confidence to the officers collecting the information on the incident hence increasing the likelihood of accurate information. The officers will know that the information given is true since the respondent is confident and knows what they are talking about.
There are means of determining if the suspect or the witness is lying or telling the truth. The first means of determining if the client is not telling the truth is by asking them to sketch a drawing to illustrate their story. If the client will not be able to sketch the narration, then the witness is lying. The second strategy that can be applied to determine if the suspect or the witness is lying is through asking them to reverse the order of occurrence of events from the last occurrence to the first part of the occurrence of activities in the story.