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The Cognitive Interview

Information is the lifeblood of investigations and it is the ability of investigators to obtain useful and accurate information from eyewitnesses that is most crucial. Yet full and accurate memory recall is difficult to achieve. This proficiency course will familiarize investigators with the Cognitive Interview (CI) technique. The CI is a systematic approach to interviewing cooperative witnesses toward increasing the amount of relevant information obtained without compromising the rate of accuracy. The CI is based on scientifically derived principles of memory and communication theory as well as extensive analyses of law-enforcement interviews. The CI has been found in scientific studies to produce significantly more information than standard police questioning. The CI is legally acceptable to the courts.

Attendees will learn about the nature of memory retrieval and how to conduct investigative interviews more effectively while avoiding the worst mistakes. In addition to the basic CI protocol, specialized techniques for use with unique populations will be presented based on research funded by the National Institute of Justice. The unique populations include: anxious or traumatized persons, amnesic persons, mentally challenged persons, and children.

This course also includes a half-day segment on techniques for detecting deception during consensual conversations with subjects who have raised suspicion. The methods taught include a reliance on the more reliable verbal, vocal, and behavioral indicators of deception.


  • "Your analytical interview techniques and instruction are an important part of our training and truly demonstrate the value of your curriculum. Some of the students remarked that it was the best interview training they have attended." - A.J. Carrol, Asst. Chief Golden Gate Division, California Highway Patrol
  • "Enhanced the field agent's ability to recognize areas we should pursue when assessing the validity of individuals and information." - NCIX
  • "I want to take opportunity to thank you and your staff for the training you recently provided to this Agency's Security Protective Officers and the attendees from law enforcement agencies in the Washington Metropolitan Area. The Institute's interview/ interrogation methodologies, combines with academic research presented by Dr. Mark Frank, and incorporated practical exercises were universally well received by the class participants."- James Kirkman, Chief Protective Programs Group, CIA

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Courses Available

  • Analytic Interviewing
  • Rapport & Control
  • The Cognitive Interview
  • Forensic Questioning
  • PEACE Model
  • Language and Listening
  • Personality Disorders & Interviewing

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