Unlocking Memories: Cognitive Interviewing for Lawyers
Osgoode Hall Law Journal, Forthcoming
8 Pages Posted: 5 Mar 2016 Last revised: 16 May 2016
Date Written: March 1, 2016
Litigators seeking to improve their interviewing skills may have noticed a recent addition to the market, a book titled Unlocking Memories: Cognitive Interviewing for Lawyers. Written by former English police officer Geoff Coughlin, it’s marketed as a way to “elicit up to 40% more information from your witness interviews” in a manner that is both accurate and efficient. Unlocking Memories falls short in many respects. The book’s organization is disjointed. It jumps from topic to topic rather than provide a step-by-step guide. The poor organization results from the book, despite its name, spending little time and attention on the actual cognitive interviewing part. Instead, Coughlin takes many divergences: some are helpful (a handy note-taking method), but others are factually inaccurate (a discredited technique for inferring mental states from eye movements).
Keywords: Law, psychology, interviewing, cognitive interview, pseudoscience, NLP
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