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Eliciting human intelligence: The effects of social exclusion and inclusion on information disclosure

Journal article
Authors Karl Ask
Emma Ejelöv
Pär-Anders Granhag
Published in Journal of Investigative Psychology and Offender Profiling
Volume 16
Issue 1
Pages 3-17
ISSN 1544-4759
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 3-17
Language en
Keywords elicitation, human intelligence, information disclosure, interview, social exclusion, social inclusion
Subject categories Applied Psychology, Psychology


Eliciting information from semicooperative sources presents a major challenge in investigative and intelligence settings. This research examines the role of the human need to belong in individuals' willingness to disclose critical information. We hypothesised that social exclusion would exert a threat to individuals' need to belong and self‐esteem, which would make them strive for social reconnection through sharing information with others. In two experiments (N = 150 and N = 135), social exclusion and inclusion were manipulated before participants were given the opportunity to disclose critical information in a semicooperative game setting (Study 1) or a mock intelligence interview (Study 2). Social exclusion did not influence information disclosure in any of the experiments. Instead, however, social inclusion unexpectedly increased information disclosure in the interview setting. We conclude that prior social experiences can influence the outcome of subsequent interviews, but the precise mechanisms underlying such influence are currently unknown.

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