Interpersonal stance in police interviews: content analysis

Rieks op den Akker, Merijn Bruijnes, Rifca Peters, Teun Krikke

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    A serious game for learning the social skills required for effective police interviewing is a challenging idea. Building artificial conversational characters that play the role of a suspect in a police interrogation game requires computational models of police interviews as well as of the internal psychological mechanisms that determine the behaviour of suspects in this special type of dialogues. Leary{\textquoteright}s interactional circumplex is used in police interview training as a theoretical framework to understand how suspects take stance during an interview and how this is related to the stance and the strategy that the interviewer takes. Interactional stance is a fuzzy notion. The question that we consider here is whether different observers of police interviews agree on the type of stance that suspect and policemen take and express in a face-to-face interview. We analyzed police interviews and report about a stance annotation exercise. We conclude that although inter- annotator agreement on stance labeling on the level of speech segments is low, a majority voting {\textquotedblleft}meta-annotator{\textquotedblright} is able to reveal the important dynamics in stance taking in a police interview. Then we explore the relation between the stance taken by the suspect and turn-taking behaviour, overlaps, interruptions, pauses and silences. Our findings contribute to building computational models of non-player characters that allow more natural turn-taking behaviour in serious games instead of the one-at-a-time regime in interview training games.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)193-216
    Number of pages24
    JournalComputational linguistics in the Netherlands journal
    Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2013


    • Content analyis
    • Police Interview
    • Interpersonal stance
    • Turn taking
    • HMI-HF: Human Factors


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