Evaluating Coercion in Suspect Interviews and Interrogations

  • Jeffrey KaplanEmail author
  • Brian L. Cutler
  • Amy-May Leach
  • Joseph Eastwood
  • Stephanie Marion
Part of the Advances in Psychology and Law book series (APL, volume 4)


Interrogation has evolved over more than a century of policing into a discipline drawing on principles of law and psychology. This evolution has made necessary, and been facilitated by, increasingly sophisticated evaluations of police interviews and interrogations. Some research has been purely descriptive, some has been aimed at law enforcement training and assessment, and, more recently, some has evaluated the coercive pressures present in interrogations. Our chapter will begin with a discussion on the challenges of defining coercion in an interrogative context. A brief summary of methods of suspect questioning will also be provided. Individual differences in suspect vulnerability to the coercive pressures of interrogation will be considered, particularly with respect to youth and intellectual disability as risk factors. We will then review the differing perspectives of interrogation offered by laypeople, criminal justice officials, and social scientists. With that background in mind, we turn to observational studies and what commonly takes place during interrogations. Following these reviews, we propose a new psychometric framework for measuring and quantifying coercion in investigative interviews and interrogations, and review our nascent research on this instrument.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey Kaplan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Brian L. Cutler
    • 1
  • Amy-May Leach
    • 1
  • Joseph Eastwood
    • 1
  • Stephanie Marion
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Social Science & HumanitiesUniversity of Ontario Institute of TechnologyOshawaCanada

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