The effect of negative feedback during forensic interviews: implications for therapeutic jurisprudence

James Baxter, Kathy Charles, Allan McGroarty

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Therapeutic Jurisprudence (TJ) is a relatively new discipline first described by Wexler in the late 1980s (Wexler, 1999). TJ involves analysing the roles of legal actors (e.g. judges, lawyers, police officers), and the rules and procedures of the legal system, as potential therapeutic or anti-therapeutic agents. Although it clearly produces an interface between psychology and law at several points in the legal process, until recently TJ has had most prominence in problem solving courts in America. TJ output has mostly come from legal academics and mainly from the United States despite a desire from this discipline for it to be mainstreamed and internationalised (Carson, 2003). The current paper presents UK research on forensic interviewing based on 80 participants (40 male, mean age 27.2 years, SD = 11.03). Using a revised version of the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale the results demonstrate a significant shift in participants’ answers to set questions (F(1, 76) = 12.06, p < 0.001) with a main effect for feedback type (positive/negative) rather than question type (leading/non-leading). These findings show that negative feedback alone during forensic interviewing has a significant effect on participants’ response changes. These results are discussed within the context of TJ and recommendations are made to recognise the role of negative feedback in affecting accurate testimony in the same way that leading questions are acknowledged to be detrimental. The discussion considers the context of both the police interview and later cross-examination.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2014
EventAsian Congress of Applied Psychology - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 7 May 20148 May 2014


ConferenceAsian Congress of Applied Psychology


  • forensic interviews
  • feedback effects
  • therapeutic jurisprudence


Dive into the research topics of 'The effect of negative feedback during forensic interviews: implications for therapeutic jurisprudence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this