The cognitive interview buffers the effects of subsequent repeated questioning in the absence of negative feedback

Lauren Wysman*, Alan Scoboria, Julie Gawrylowicz, Amina Memon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue

1 Citation (Scopus)


The Cognitive Interview (CI) is known to elicit high-quality information from cooperative witnesses. The present study examined whether the CI protects against two suggestive interview techniques: repeated questioning and negative feedback. Young adults (n=98) watched one of two crime videos and were interviewed with either a CI or free recall. One week later, a second interviewer asked answerable questions (about information in the video) and unanswerable questions (about information not in the video). Half of the participants received negative feedback about their performance. All participants were then asked the questions a second time. The CI resulted in more correct responses to answerable questions and fewer errors to unanswerable questions at the first questioning. The CI produced the highest consistency for answerable questions in the face of repeated questioning in the absence of negative feedback, and resulted in the most changes in responses to answerable questions when negative feedback was applied. No effects were found for unanswerable questions. The CI protected against repeated questioning, but only in the absence of negative feedback.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-219
Number of pages13
JournalBehavioral Sciences and the Law
Issue number2
Early online date2 Apr 2014
Publication statusPublished - 10 Apr 2014
Externally publishedYes


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