Examination of investigative interviewing techniques for use in secondary screening for malintent

Allyson J Horgan, University of Texas at El Paso


There has been a renewed focus on the development of innovative screening procedures and technologies since the September 11th attacks. While attention has been placed on the need for more effective screening methods, there has been a lack of research on screening for future intent, which is remarkable given its importance to national security (Granhag, 2010; Martin, Martin, & Coskren, 2007). The current project draws on previous research on deception detection and investigative interviewing, as well as recent research on false intent in order to investigate the utility of several interviewing methods in screening for intent. Participants (N = 144) went through a security screening module. After passing through the primary screening process, participants entered secondary screening where they were interviewed using either an anxiety-based, cognitive-based, or direct questioning approach. Results indicated that interviewers and independent observers demonstrated a truth bias when making determinations about false intent, and that overall accuracy rates were no better than chance performance. Some support for the use of cognitive-based interview methods was obtained when reviewers used a coding tool based on empirically validated cues to deception.

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Horgan, Allyson J, "Examination of investigative interviewing techniques for use in secondary screening for malintent" (2011). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI3457751.