An emerging research agenda for investigative interviewing: hypotheses from the narrative action system

Authors

  • Donna Youngs,

    1. International Research Centre for Investigative Psychology, School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK
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  • David Canter

    Corresponding author
    1. Centre for Investigative Psychology, Eleanor Rathbone Building, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
    • Centre for Investigative Psychology, Eleanor Rathbone Building, University of Liverpool, Liverpool L69 7ZA, UK
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Abstract

The present issue of JIP-OP brings together an intriguing range of papers that cover a wide range of aspects of testimony and aspects of investigative interviewing. They show how the considerations of how testimony is obtained is broadening out from the memory improvement strategies that once dominated this area with attempts to detect deception, to cover many aspects of how testimony is obtained. This draws attention to the need for more careful examination of the variations in testimony eliciting processes that will be responsive to differences in context and crime. A research agenda is therefore proposed that draws on developments in the understanding of psychological differences between crimes. This research would study the relationship between the psychological processes underpinning offence actions and the interview behaviour of suspects or witnesses. With regard to suspects, recent developments in the modelling of offence style have indicated a narrative basis (narrative action system model) for understanding the patterns of offence actions and the perpetrator's psychological background and characteristics that can be inferred from these. It is therefore suggested that the Hero's Quest, Professional's Adventure, Revenger's Tragedy, and Victim's Irony offending narratives and the Object, Vehicle, and Person victim roles assigned within these, may provide a fruitful link to different patterns of interview behaviour, with consequent implications for approaches to interviewing. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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