Article

The relative influence of leading questions and negative feedback on response change on the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale (2). Implications for forensic interviewing

Psychology Crime and Law (Impact Factor: 0.69). 01/2012; 18:1-9. DOI: 10.1080/1068316X.2011.631538

ABSTRACT The ‘Shift’ or response change measure of the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scales
(GSS 1 and 2) is assumed primarily to indicate acceptance of the negative
feedback component of the GSS procedure. Using an adapted version of the
question set that bears on the GSS 2 narrative, this study systematically varied the
pressurising influences of the GSS 2 specifically to test this assumption. In four
conditions, negative and neutral feedback were administered either with leading
or non-leading questions. Varying type of feedback to participants resulted in
significant differences in Shift scores. In line with the theorised bases of the scales,
the leading questions component of the GSS was found to have no significant
independent effect on Shift and to be no more effective than non-leading
questions in influencing this measure. The study also lent support to two previous
studies, which have shown that negative feedback in the absence of leading
questions alters average response change to a reliable degree (10%), suggesting a
useful norm for adapted versions of the GSS procedure. It is argued that the
influence of feedback on response change in interviews merits more attention
from researchers than it has previously received.

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