Empathy in the field: Towards a taxonomy of empathic communication in information gathering interviews with suspected sex offenders

Dando, C.J. and Oxburgh G.E. 2016. Empathy in the field: Towards a taxonomy of empathic communication in information gathering interviews with suspected sex offenders. The European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context. 8 (1), pp. 27-33. doi:10.1016/j.ejpal.2015.10.001

TitleEmpathy in the field: Towards a taxonomy of empathic communication in information gathering interviews with suspected sex offenders
AuthorsDando, C.J. and Oxburgh G.E.
Abstract

Research suggests that those suspected of sexual offending might be more willing to reveal informa- tion about their crimes if interviewers display empathic behaviour. However, the literature concerning investigative empathy is in its infancy, and so as yet is not well understood. This study explores empathy in a sample of real-life interviews conducted by police officers in England with suspected sex offen- ders. Using qualitative methodology, the presence and type of empathic verbal behaviours displayed was examined. Resulting categories were quantitatively analysed to investigate their occurrence overall, and across interviewer gender. We identified four distinct types of empathy, some of which were used sig- nificantly more often than others. Female interviewers displayed more empathic behaviour per se by a considerable margin.

KeywordsSex Offenders; Investigative Interviewing; Empathy; Information gathering
JournalThe European Journal of Psychology Applied to Legal Context
Journal citation8 (1), pp. 27-33
ISSN1889-1861
Year2016
PublisherElsevier
Publisher's version1-s2.0-S188918611500027X-main.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1016/j.ejpal.2015.10.001
Publication dates
Published in printJan 2016
Published online21 Nov 2015
Published21 Nov 2015
LicenseCC BY-NC-ND 4.0

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