Structured interviews of experienced HUMINT interrogators
Applied Cognitive Psychology
The task force that led to the creation of the High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) recommended that the HIG fund a program of research aimed at establishing scientifically supported interrogative best practices. One of the ways to identify 'best practices' is to rely on direct reporting from subject-matter experts. In this study, 42 highly experienced military and intelligence interrogators were interviewed about their interrogation-related practices and beliefs, including such topics as training and selection, the role of rapport, perceptions regarding the techniques employed, lie detection, and the roles of interpreters and analysts. Interrogators indicated that excellent interpersonal skills on the part of an interrogator, an emphasis on rapport and relationship-building techniques, and the assistance of well-prepared interpreters and analysts are key components of a successful interrogation. It is our hope that the results of this study will stimulate research, influence training models, and ultimately contribute toward an interrogative best-practice model.
Russano, M., Narchet, F., Kleinman, S., & Meissner, C. (2014). Structured interviews of experienced HUMINT interrogators. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 28 (6), 847-859. https://doi.org/10.1002/acp.3069