Language style matching and police interrogation outcomes

Beth H. Richardson, Paul J Taylor, Brent Snook, Stacey M. Conchie, Craig Bennell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    22 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This research examined the coordination of interrogator and suspects’ verbal behavior in interrogations. Sixty-four police interrogations were examined at the aggregate and utterance level using a measure of verbal mimicry known as Language Style Matching. Analyses revealed an interaction between confession and the direction of language matching. Interrogations containing a confession were characterized by higher rates of the suspect matching the interrogators’ language style than interrogations without a confession. A sequence analysis of utterance-level Language Style Matching revealed a divergence in the type of matching that occurred across outcome. There was a linear increase in interrogator-led matching for interrogations containing a confession and an increase in suspect-led matching for nonconfession interrogations. These findings suggest that police interrogations play out, in part, at the basic level of language coordination
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)357-366
    JournalLaw and human behavior
    Volume38
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

    Keywords

    • METIS-298618
    • IR-91562

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    Richardson, B. H., Taylor, P. J., Snook, B., Conchie, S. M., & Bennell, C. (2014). Language style matching and police interrogation outcomes. Law and human behavior, 38(4), 357-366. https://doi.org/10.1037/lhb0000077