Language style matching and police interrogation outcomes

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

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    38 Citations (Scopus)
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    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
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • METIS-298618
    • IR-91562


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