The effects of rapport building on information disclosure in virtual interviews
Dion Larivière, Cassandre
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Rapport-building has been identified as an effective tool when interviewing victims and witnesses of events that may be sensitive in nature. The objective of this study was to examine the rapport-building process within a virtual interviewing context. Participants (N = 94) were shown a sexual education video and then questioned about the content of the video in a live virtual interview using either a Rapport (e.g., empathy, personalization, smiling) or No-Rapport (e.g., flat tone, no smiling, no personalization) approach. Results showed that perceived rapport was much higher in the Rapport condition compared to the No-Rapport condition (d = 1.47). Participants in the Rapport condition also provided substantially more dialogue (d = 0.85) and reported more accurate details (d = 0.42) in the substantive phase of the interview than those in the No-Rapport Condition. Implications of this study for investigative interviews conducted virtually will be discussed.