Rapport building and witness memory: Actions may ‘speak’ louder than words

Nahouli, Z., Dando, C.J., Mackenzie, J.-M. and Aresti, A. 2021. Rapport building and witness memory: Actions may ‘speak’ louder than words. PLoS ONE. 16 (8) e0256084. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0256084

TitleRapport building and witness memory: Actions may ‘speak’ louder than words
TypeJournal article
AuthorsNahouli, Z., Dando, C.J., Mackenzie, J.-M. and Aresti, A.
Abstract

Building rapport during police interviews is argued as important for improving on the completeness and accuracy of information provided by witnesses and victims. However, little experimental research has clearly operationalised rapport and investigated the impact of rapport behaviours on episodic memory. Eighty adults watched a video of a mock crime event and 24-hours later were randomly allocated to an interview condition where verbal and/or behavioural (non-verbal) rapport techniques were manipulated. Memorial performance measures revealed significantly more correct information, without a concomitant increase in errors, was elicited when behavioural rapport was present, a superiority effect found in both the free and probed recall phase of interviews. The presence of verbal rapport was found to reduce recall accuracy in the free recall phase of interviews. Post-interview feedback revealed significant multivariate effects for the presence of behavioural (only) rapport and combined (behavioural + verbal) rapport. Participants rated their interview experience far more positively when these types of rapport were present compared to when verbal (only) rapport or no rapport was present. These findings add weight to the importance of rapport in supporting eyewitness cognition, highlighting the potential consequences of impoverished social behaviours for building rapport during dyadic interactions, suggesting ‘doing’ rather than simply ‘saying’ may be more beneficial.

Article numbere0256084
JournalPLoS ONE
Journal citation16 (8)
ISSN1932-6203
Year2021
PublisherPublic Library of Science
Publisher's version
License
CC BY 4.0
File Access Level
Open (open metadata and files)
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0256084
Web address (URL)https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0256084
Publication dates
Published13 Aug 2021

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