Examining witness interviewing environments

Katherine Hoogesteyn*, Ewout Meijer, Aldert Vrij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The literature on information elicitation in psycholegal settings has predominantly focused on the investigator–interviewee dynamic, with little attention to the environment in which the interview takes place. The present study compared the impact of two interview locations on the disclosure of crime‐related information and perceptions of rapport building. Participants experienced a virtual reality mock crime, and 1 week later were interviewed at either their homes, or a formal room akin to a real‐world police interview room. Participants in the home setting reported feeling more at ease and in control compared to participants interviewed in the formal room. However, we found no differences between conditions on the quantity and quality of information disclosure and participants' perceptions of rapport building. Based on our findings, we found no advantages or disadvantages for conducting witness interviews at their homes. However, these results underscore the practicality of interviewing witnesses outside the police interview room if deemed as more convenient
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-249
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020


  • interview environment
  • interview location
  • investigative interviewing
  • rapport-building
  • witness interviews
  • ROOM


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