Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Adapting Interrogation Techniques from the HIG (High Value Interrogation Group)

The following report released by the HIG covers numerous important topics related to hostage and crisis negotiators. This includes, rapport building tactics, priming, as well as persuasion and influencing techniques. 


The High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) is a specialized interagency interrogation capability that brings together intelligence professionals, subject matter experts, and an international and multi-disciplinary team of researchers. Since its creation in January 2010, the HIG has served as the locus for advancing the science and practice of interrogation within the United States government. To date, the HIG has commissioned a body of scientific research on interrogation that has resulted in more than 100 publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

Equally important, this research has been incorporated into HIG best practices via a continuous cycle of research advising training, training informing operations, and operational experience identifying research gaps and updating training models.

From the section on Influencing Techniques:

Liking is established by finding similarities with the subject. Establishing common ground is a means to both influence and build relationships; liking is increased by similarity and similarity increases liking.

This shows the importance of perception and the contrast in how we think we are doing and what others think:
Subjective measures of rapport. The experience of the subject may not always be what the interviewer claims. While police officers may rate themselves as ‘skilled,’ analyses of taped interviews with suspects have shown that the police are sometimes deficient in rapport building. An analysis of 161 recorded suspect interviews found initial rapport building only in 3% of the interviews. Interviews of 30 people who had been questioned following detention for alleged terrorist-related activities showed that, in comparison with reports from interrogators (of whom 85% reported using social justice strategies which included reciprocity, rapport, and elements of procedural justice], only 25% of the ‘detainees’ reported experiencing such strategies in their interviews with the police.

Go the the FBI website [HERE] to download the PDF file of the full report.