The purpose of a forensic interview is to gain knowledge and information that is significant to the investigation. Most interviews are conducted to gather evidence or information through facts and witnesses. There are different types of strategies used to conduct an interview: the cognitive interview, use of hypnosis, and the use of a polygraph machine.
The cognitive interview is one method used to interview an eyewitness or victims pertaining to an event or a crime. This interviewing method is used to help the witness or suspect recall or bring forth information about a crime. Cognitive interviews are meant to enhance the process of memory recollection and increase the credibility of the given testimony. If conducted properly, this level of interview can help minimize memory errors and confabulation.
In the article, "Eyewitness Memory Enhancement in the Police Interview: Cognitive Retrieval versus Hypnosis", researchers claim that the cognitive interview technique can enhance the quantity and quality of the information retrieved from an eyewitness. Research also found that the cognitive interview correspond with the same idea that the cognitive interview increases the efficiency of eyewitness memory retrieval during investigative interviews without any unconstructive consequences (Geiselman, et al., 1985).
A study was conducted to determine the effectiveness of cognitive interviews, which draw out useful and precise information from eyewitnesses; it becomes apparent and effective. The studies conducted by Geiselman, et al. (1985) try to determine whether the cognitive interview enhances the credibility of eyewitness testimony. 88 undergraduate students watched 4 police training films of imitation violent crimes and were interviewed by one of the detectives. The results in this study determine that the cognitive interview in a more ecologically valid setting than that employed by (Geiselman et al.