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Interrogative pressure in simulated forensic interviews: The effects of negative feedback

McGroarty, A. and Baxter, J.S. (2007) Interrogative pressure in simulated forensic interviews: The effects of negative feedback. British Journal of Psychology, 98 (3). ISSN 0007-1269

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Abstract

Much experimental research on interrogative pressure has concentrated on the effects of leading questions, and the role of feedback in influencing responses in the absence of leading questions has been neglected by comparison. This study assessed the effect of negative feedback and the presence of a second interviewer on interviewee responding in simulated forensic interviews. Participants viewed a videotape of a crime, answered questions about the clip and were requestioned after receiving feedback. Compared with neutral feedback, negative feedback resulted in more response changes, higher reported state anxiety and higher ratings of interview difficulty. These results are consistent with Gudjonsson and Clark's (1986) model of interrogative suggestibility. The presence and involvement of a second interviewer did not significantly affect interviewee responding, although trait anxiety scores were elevated when a second interviewer was present. The theoretical and applied implications of these findings are considered.