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Department of Psychology


Hundreds of scientific studies on the competencies and limitations of eyewitnesses have been published, but few have sought input from front-line forensic interviewers. In the current study, a research agenda was established with in-depth input from 13 forensic interviewers. Interviewers indicated which techniques they use most often, rated the usefulness of various interview techniques, and disclosed common challenges when interviewing. Although many recommended techniques were used (e.g., the Cognitive Interview and Rapport Building), some techniques shown to be effective in eliciting quality testimony in scientific studies were not always used or considered useful by front-line interviewers (e.g., permission to correct the interviewer, permission to say ‘I don’t know’). Key areas were identified to guide future research (e.g., techniques when interviewing very young children, witnesses with developmental delays).