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Forensic Psychology – Crime Investigation and Prevention

2. The Cognitive Interview

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About this Lecture


In this second module, we think about the cognitive interview and the enhanced cognitive interview, focusing in particular on: (i) the origin of the cognitive interview from Geiselman et al. (1984); (ii) the four stages of the cognitive interview, which involve reinstating context, free recall, recalling in different orders and recalling from different perspectives: (iii) Fisher and Geiselman’s (1992) five addition elements of the enhanced cognitive interview, including rapport building, supportive interview technique, transferring control to the witness, focused retrieval and witness compatible questioning; (iv) Memon and Higham’s (1999) review of the cognitive interview.


This course, by Professor Ciarán O’Keeffe (Buckinghamshire New University), explores crime investigation and prevention. In the first module, we think about evidence collection and how an interview differs from an interrogation. In the second module, we think about the cognitive interview by working through each of its stages, as well as the five additional considerations put forward in the enhanced cognitive interview. In the third module, we think about primary crime prevention, including target hardening, improving street lighting, the use of defensible spaces, the installation of CCTV and the implementation of zero tolerance policies on crime. Next, we think about Kelling and Wilson’s 1982 ‘broken windows theory’ and Zimbardo’s 1969 study using abandoned cars to assess the impact on crime levels. In the fifth module, we think about dietary treatments to reduce crime, including nutritional supplements. In the sixth and final module, we think about the impact that hormones can have on criminal behaviour, as well as some of the hormone treatments that have been implemented for sexual offenders.


Ciarán O’Keeffe is associate professor at Buckinghamshire New University. He specialises in both forensic and criminal psychology, as well as parapsychology (the study of mental phenomena which are inexplicable by conventional psychology). Professor O’Keeffe’s background is in investigative psychology and now teaches across a range of forensic and criminal psychology courses. He has made numerous television and radio appearances alongside an array of celebrities.

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APA style

O'Keeffe, C. (2022, April 07). Forensic Psychology – Crime Investigation and Prevention - The Cognitive Interview [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

O'Keeffe, Ciarán. "Forensic Psychology – Crime Investigation and Prevention – The Cognitive Interview." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 07 Apr 2022,

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