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Parallel Symposium: Culture and Investigative Interviewing


August 24, 14:00-14:50 CEST


Culture and Investigative Interviewing

The pursuit of justice increasingly relies on productive interactions between witnesses and investigators from diverse cultural backgrounds during investigative interviews. To date, the role of cultural context has largely been ignored by researchers in the field of investigative interviewing, despite repeated requests from practitioners and policy-makers for evidence-based guidance for the conduct of interviews with people from different cultures. Through examining cultural differences in human memory and communication and considering specific contextual challenges for investigative interviewing through the lens of culture, this symposium will highlight the scope for considering culture and human diversity in research on, and the practice of, investigative interviewing with victims and witnesses. This symposium also foreshadows a forthcoming Landmark Article in Legal and Criminological Psychology, in which research and practitioner contributors identify common areas for cultural mismatch between the expectations of the interviewer and interviewee, and highlight the importance of considering the role of culture in different investigative interviewing practices (e.g., rapport building, questioning techniques) and contexts (e.g., gender-based violence, asylum-seeking, child abuse). Across four presentations, we call for an increased focus in the investigative interviewing literature on the nature and needs of our global community and encourage constructive and collaborative discussion between researchers and practitioners from around the world to better identify specific challenges and work together towards the evidence-based solutions. We also highlight for discussion some of the methodological challenges facing researchers in this field of research.


14.00 – 14.10 Nkansah Anakwah, Lorraine Hope, Robert Horselenberg, & Peter Van Koppen

University of Portsmouth & Maastricht University

Cultural differences in eyewitness memory reports
14.10 – 14.20 Julia Korkman, Jenny Skrifvars, Hedayat Selim, Tanja van Veldhuizen, & Jan Antfolk.

Abo Akademi University, Finland

Cultural factors in asylum interviewing

14.20 – 14.30 Heather Flowe, Laura M. Stevens, & Wangu Kanja

University of Birmingham, UK

Taking culture into account: Investigative Interviews with Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence
14.30 – 14.40 Lorraine Hope

University of Portsmouth, UK

Understanding the role of culture in the investigative interviewing of victims and witnesses: Moving Forward
14.40 – 14.50 Live Q&A with all speakers