What’s the room got to do with it? Examining the influence of environmental aspects in investigative interviews

Katherine Hoogesteyn

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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The physical environment exerts an influence in our perceptions, behaviours, and communication; that is not only intuitive, but also substantiated by research outside of legal psychology, such as in the communication and health care fields. This dissertation examined potential influences of the physical environment specific to the investigative interview domain. Investigated were 1) police investigators’ perceptions regarding interview rooms, and the use and effectiveness of context manipulation techniques 2) the influence of physical spaciousness as well as 3) interview location on interviewee’s perceptions of rapport-building and information disclosure, as well as 4) detainee and lay individuals expectations and preferences regarding police interview rooms.
Overall, investigators and interviewees seem to be perceptive of their surroundings during interviews, and this dissertation provides evidence for the environment’s impact on interviewees perceived experience, yet no support for its influence on their information disclosure. Hopefully this body of work serves as a foundation for future research in this limited, yet very practical aspect of interviewing practice.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Meijer, Ewout, Supervisor
  • Vrij, Aldert, Supervisor, External person
  • de Ruiter, Corine, Supervisor
Award date6 Jul 2020
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789464023541
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • investigative interviews
  • physical environment
  • information disclosure
  • rapport building

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