Interpersonal stance in police interviews: content analysis
A serious game for learning the social skills required for effective police interviewing is a challenging idea. Building artificial conversational characters that play the role of a suspect in a police interrogation game requires computational models of police interviews as well as of the internal psychological mechanisms that determine the behaviour of suspects in this special type of dialogues. Leary’s interactional circumplex is used in police interview training as a theoretical framework to understand how suspects take stance during an interview and how this is related to the stance and the strategy that the interviewer takes. Interactional stance is a fuzzy notion. The question that we consider here is whether different observers of police interviews agree on the type of stance that suspect and policemen take and express in a face-to-face interview. We analyzed police interviews and report about a stance annotation exercise. We conclude that although interannotator agreement on stance labeling on the level of speech segments is low, a majority voting “meta-annotator” is able to reveal the important dynamics in stance taking in a police interview. Then we explore the relation between the stance taken by the suspect and turn-taking behaviour, overlaps, interruptions, pauses and silences. Our findings contribute to building computational models of non-player characters that allow more natural turn-taking behaviour in serious games instead of the one-at-a-time regime in interview training games.