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Examining the Effectiveness of Rapport Building in Investigative Interviews

In investigative contexts, building rapport with interviewees has been shown to foster cooperation, but little is known about how effectively interviewers judge their rapport-building efforts. In this exploratory study, the researchers examine whether mock interviewers' judgments of rapport align with those of other involved parties, as well as with a key linguistic measure of interpersonal synchrony. Using a simulated interview task, the study found that mock interviewers' self-assessment of rapport was not related to other parties' assessments. However, there was a correlation between interviewer's self-assessment and a linguistic measure of interpersonal synchrony, suggesting that interviewers may use language to judge rapport building.

The study highlights the importance of examining both subjective and objective measures of rapport building in investigative interviews. The findings suggest that interviewers may benefit from feedback on their rapport building efforts, and that linguistic measures may be a useful tool for assessing rapport building in real-world investigative contexts. The paper offers insights into the challenges of rapport building in investigative interviewing and proposes a potential way forward.


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