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The effects of a relational mistake and communication error handling in a suspect interview

Laseur, Juliette M. (2015) The effects of a relational mistake and communication error handling in a suspect interview.

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Abstract:Relational mistakes in communication by police officers might have a huge impact on a suspect interview. To research how the communication within a suspect interview can be optimal, not only will be looked at the influence that mistakes might have on a suspect, but as well the various ways of error handling. The suspect interview is based on a highly strained relationship: the interviewer and the suspect have high stakes, an officer has mixed motives and there is low trust in an interviewer by the suspect. In order to research mistakes made in this type of relationship, there has been looked at the relationship between a student and an authority of the university. There were 116 psychology students who participated in the experiment. They were asked to imagine that they had conducted exam fraud, after which they were connected with a member of the exam committee via a virtual chat session. This authority then makes a relational mistake or no mistake and tries to recover this mistake via apologizing, denying or accepting the mistake. The research shows that the affective trust in the error maker is significantly lower and the felt hostility was significantly higher after a relational mistake is made, than when no mistake is made. Furthermore was found that apologizing was a better recovery strategy after a relational mistake was made to increase affective trust, than denial and acceptance.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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