Interrogation outcomes and linguistic style matching




Baryshevtsev, Maxim Victorovich

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Cooperation is an important aspect of investigative interviews and is usually obtained through rapport-building during questioning. The specific strategies used vary between interviewers, but nonetheless involves actively engaging with the interviewee. Previous research on behavioral mimicry has found that there is a positive association between rapport and mimicry. The current study looked at the relationship between linguistic mimicry and interrogation outcome. Specifically, the interrogations that were analyzed were of professional polygraph examiners questioning subjects about whether cheating occurred during a trivia game. Results showed partial support for deceptive non- confessions matching more at the beginning of the interrogation compared to confessions. Also, there was evidence that linguistic matching increased from pre-confession to post- confession and those confessions that that were initially deceptive tended to increase in mimicry as the interrogation progressed. Results and implications are discussed.



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