Communication error management in law enforcement interactions : a receiver’s perspective

Oostinga, Miriam and Giebels, Ellen and Taylor, Paul Jonathon (2018) Communication error management in law enforcement interactions : a receiver’s perspective. Psychology, Crime and Law, 24 (2). pp. 134-155. ISSN 1068-316X

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Two experiments explore the effect of law enforcement officers’ communication errors and their response strategies on a suspect’s trust in the officer; established rapport and hostility; and, the amount and quality of information shared. Students were questioned online by an exam board member about exam fraud (Nstudy1  = 188) or by a police negotiator after they had stolen money and barricaded themselves (Nstudy2  = 184). Unknown to participants, the online utterances of the law enforcement officer were pre-programmed to randomly assign them to a condition in a 2(Error: factual, judgment) × 3(Response: contradict, apologize, accept) factorial design, or to control where no error was made. Our findings show that making (judgment) errors seem more detrimental for affective trust and rapport in a suspect interview, while no such effects appeared in a crisis negotiation. Notably, we found a positive effect of errors, as more information was being shared. The ultimate effect of the error was dependent on the response: accept was effective in re-establishing rapport and decreasing hostility, while contradict threatens it. Accept seems more effective for the willingness to provide information in a suspect interview, while apologize seems more effective for affective trust and rapport in a crisis negotiation.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Psychology, Crime and Law
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Psychology, Crime and Law on 16/10/2017, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? communication errorsresponse strategiessuspect interviewcrisis negotiationinformation sharingpathology and forensic medicinepsychology(all)law ??
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Deposited On:
20 Sep 2017 14:58
Last Modified:
13 Jun 2024 01:16