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Rapid Fire

 

Techniques Interrogation > Rapid Fire

Description | Example | Discussion | See also

 

Description

Ask many rapid questions, one after another. There are two basic ways to do this.

In the first method, you give a burst of several questions at once, before the subject has the chance to begin to answer even the first question.

In the second method, ask subsequent questions before the subject has completed their answer.

If the person falters or delays, hurry them up.

These questions are often asked directly and assertively.

Example

Where were you on Saturday at 9pm? What were you doing? Who else was there? Who did you see? ... Come on now, answer me!!

Discussion

When people lie, they generally need more time to think about their answers and check that these are consistent with past responses. Rapid fire questions give them little time for this and they are thus more likely to let things slip or give inconsistent replies.

When a person is prevented from completing an answer, their need for completion is affected, thus increasing their stress levels.

Under high levels of stress, people are likely to turn to satisficing, where their focus changed from giving the best answer to reducing the stress. Rapid fire questions increase stress through cognitive loading and emotional pressure.

See also

Lying, Stress

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