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Dissertation Defence: The Phased Interview Model of Suspect Interviewing: Evaluating the Model, Methodological Considerations, and Preliminary Observations
July 11 at 11:00 am - 3:00 pm
Katherine Rose, supervised by Dr. Michael Woodworth, will defend their dissertation titled “The Phased Interview Model of Suspect Interviewing: Evaluating the Model, Methodological Considerations, and Preliminary Observations” in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology.
An abstract for Katherine Rose’s dissertation is included below.
Examinations are open to all members of the campus community as well as the general public. Registration is not required for in person defences.
Contemporary interview approaches favor psychological techniques, such as rapport building, to enhance suspect cooperation and yield useful information. In 2014, Canada introduced the Phased Interview Model, an approach that encourages rapport building to collect voluntary information from suspects. Despite being widely adopted nationwide, it has not been evaluated empirically. The objectives of the present study were to: (1) identify a research-supported methodological approach to evaluate the PIM; (2) examine the presence of information-gathering techniques in the PIM; (3) explore relationships between interview techniques and investigative-relevant information (IRI; Oxburgh et al., 2012). First, a narrative review of research methods used to study rapport in suspect interviews showed support for the diversity, and often ambiguous nature, of how rapport is defined and measured. Next, a coding scheme was developed and applied to a sample of 12 PIM interviews of homicide suspects. Instances of rapport-building, appeals for information, and adherence to procedural protections of suspect rights were counted. Although use of rapport techniques varied across interviews, some specific behaviours were found to correlate positively with IRI such as informing the suspect and asking personal questions. There were no relationships between appeals for information and IRI. Findings support the use of non-coercive techniques in the PIM and the acquisition of useful information, but that more research is needed to further enhance training and implementation of useful interview strategies. This study also highlights the importance of developing clear, rigorous research methodology for the exploration of novel interviewing approaches.