Reframing Intelligence Interviews: The Applicability of Psychological Research to HUMINT Elicitation

nunan- Reframing Intelligence Interviews

Effective discovery and subsequent threat mitigation is predicated on accurate, timely and detailed actionable information. Information, an important element within intelligence and investigation ensures appropriate judicial disposal in Law Enforcement Agency’s (LEA) efforts to bring offenders to justice.

The value of information to delivering community safety is reflected in associated policy, practice, and process. Effective interviewing, in both its formal and informal interactive states, offers a significant opportunity to elicit critical strategic and tactical information that both informs and drives LEA activity.

It is unexpected then, that within the context of information collection, not only are human interactions between LEA and members of the public under-exploited but also, when the intention is to collect information, how unsatisfactorily it is approached and executed.

It is apparent that the required elicitation skills, including rapport building and the identification of source motivation, are not sufficiently taught, and the governing policy is overly cautious with a negligible evidence base.

Whilst this chapter focuses on the psychological aspects of techniques available for gathering information, and in particular intelligence collection, the underlying psychological principles of conducting an effective interview are relevant to a wider audience.

(From the book abstract)


Stanier, I. P., and Jordan Nunan (2018). Reframing Intelligence Interviews: The Applicability of Psychological Research to HUMINT Elicitation. In A. Griffiths, & R. Milne (Eds.), The Psychology of Criminal Investigation: From Theory to Practice (pp. 226-248). London: Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315637211