The authors analyzed authentic, videotaped police interviews (N = 27) to examine how the use of different influencing behaviors by police officers affects the provision of information by suspects. The analysis focused on variations in cue-response patterns across suspects from cultures that tend to use more direct and content-oriented communication (i.e., low-context cultures) and cultures in which communication is typically more indirect and context orientated (i.e., high-context cultures). As expected, rational arguments were more effective in eliciting case-related personal information from low-context suspects than from high-context suspects. Contrary to the authors’ expectations, high-context rather than low-context suspects seemed to respond negatively in terms of explicitly refusing to give information to police behavior coded as being kind. Additional analyses considered the effects of two types of intimidating behavior (intimidating the individual vs. the context) across the low- and high-context suspects. Results showed that intimidating the individual was more effective at eliciting case-related personal information from low-context suspects, whereas intimidating the context appeared to be more effective in eliciting case-related contextual information for high-context suspects.
- Proximity coefficient