Challenges of a "Toolbox" Approach to Investigative Interviewing : A Critical Analysis of the RCMP's Phased Interview Model

Snook, Brent and Fahmy, Weyam and Fallon, Laura and Lively, Christopher and Luther, Kirk and Meissner, Christian and Barron, Todd and House, John (2020) Challenges of a "Toolbox" Approach to Investigative Interviewing : A Critical Analysis of the RCMP's Phased Interview Model. Psychology, Public Policy and Law, 26 (3). 261–273. ISSN 1076-8971

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The Royal Canadian Mounted Police implemented the Phased Interview Model in Canada and has argued that it is a novel and productive way to interview suspects. We applaud the Royal Canadian Mounted Police for moving away from a purely accusatorial approach and recognize that Phased Interview Model contains several science-based practices. In this article, however, we evaluate the Phased Interview Model critically. In particular, we present compelling empirical evidence that three fundamental practices (minimizing culpability, mischaracterizing evidence, and asking leading questions) in the Phased Interview Model put the truth-seeking function of police interviews at risk. We also explore the challenges inherent in combining accusatorial and information gathering techniques into a hybrid ‘toolbox’ approach. We conclude that advocating for interview protocols that contain dangerous or untested practices may hinder the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s ability to achieve their purported goals of obtaining voluntary statements and accurate information.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Psychology, Public Policy and Law
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©American Psychological Association, 2020. This paper is not the copy of record and may not exactly replicate the authoritative document published in the APA journal. Please do not copy or cite without author's permission. The final article is available, upon publication, at:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? investigative interviewingconfessionsevidencephased interview modelreid model of interrogationsocial psychologysociology and political sciencelaw ??
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Deposited On:
23 Apr 2020 14:15
Last Modified:
28 Jun 2024 01:39