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(3):1-9. DOI: 10.1080/1068316X.2011.631538


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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    ABSTRACT: The effect of negative feedback in the absence of leading questions within a simulated forensic interview was investigated across young, middle-aged and older adults. Participants aged 18–82 (N = 101) watched a mock crime incident, were questioned, received feedback and re-questioned. It was hypothesised that when compared with neutral feedback, negative feedback would result in greater response changes and higher ratings of interview difficulty. The results supported this hypothesis and are consistent with Gudjonsson and Clark’s (1986) model of interrogative suggestibility. Correlation analysis revealed a significant negative association between age and response change following explicit negative feedback. Older adults showed reduced susceptibility to interrogative pressure.
    Personality and Individual Differences 12/2012; 53(8):958–962. DOI:10.1016/j.paid.2012.07.008 · 1.95 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scales (GSS 1 & 2) can illuminate social and cognitive factors which affect forensic interviewees’ vulnerability to pressure from interrogators. Variations of the GSS procedure can highlight detail in the dynamics of interrogative suggestibility (IS). Induced malingering is one such variation. The present study used this method in an attempt to reconcile conflicting findings of two previous malingering studies. An innovation was to pre-test participants on the standard GSS 2 to identify them as showing Low, Medium, or High IS. These groups then undertook the parallel GSS 1 but with the instruction to role-play a suspect who is attempting to appear abnormally suggestible. Results showed marked differences in the direction in which faking scores changed, from those at pre-testing, between the Low and the High groups, with the High group showing a decrease in GSS scores and the Low group an increase: the Medium group scores followed the trend of the Low group scores. It is suggested that these results explain why previous results using induced malingering have been inconsistent. The results are also discussed in terms of how differing expectancies and levels of interpersonal trust may affect interviewees.
    Personality and Individual Differences 06/2013; 54(8):918–924. DOI:10.1016/j.paid.2013.01.004 · 1.95 Impact Factor