Enhancing cooperation and disclosure by manipulating affiliation and developing rapport in investigative interviews.

We sought to identify motivations to resist cooperation in intelligence interviews and develop techniques to overcome this resistance. One source of resistance can arise because of concerns for affiliations (e.g., “I do not want to inform on my friends/family/fellow countryman”). We investigated two avenues of rapport building–approach and avoidance–designed to overcome this concern. In a modified cheating paradigm, our participants (N = 116) became affiliated with a confederate who they then witnessed cheating. Participants were interviewed about the event in a 2 (approach: present vs. absent) × 2 (avoid: present vs. absent) design. The interviewer used either an approach technique that aligned them with the interviewer (portrayed as a morally good person) or an avoid technique that moved them away from the culprit (portrayed as nefarious), neither, or both. The approach technique increased rapport between the interviewer and participant. However, the avoid technique decreased the amount information elicited. When submitted to a mediation model, the approach technique had a positive indirect effect on information yield via perceived rapport and cooperation, while this was not the case for the avoid technique. An exploratory moderator analysis revealed that sympathy for the confederate moderated the effect of the avoid technique on information disclosed, where the more sympathy a participant felt for the confederate, the less information he or she provided. Implications for interviewing are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)