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The Theory of Communication and Memory
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Note: This course was originally a module of the 'Investigative Communication' course that was first released in October 2004. 'Investigative Communication' has now been re-organized into three separate short courses: The Theory of Truth and Deception, The Theory of Communication and Memory, and Interviewing.
Communication is a fundamental factor in the success of a Peace Officer and plays a prominent role in day to day duties and during the course of an investigation. Good communication skills, which include listening and non-verbal responses, are essential when interviewing victims, witnesses, or non-custodial suspects.
Understanding the potential impact of communication on the memory of a person being interviewed is also an important consideration. Subtle words and actions of an interviewer can often contaminate the information from a subject. However, understanding the process of human memory and retrieval can improve an interviewer's ability to extract accurate and reliable information from a subject.
This course will explore how communication is influenced by human perceptions, and how to recognize and avoid biases when communicating and investigating. It will discuss the importance of effective listening and establishing and maintaining a good rapport with a subject. It will also introduce the more widely agreed upon ideas about memory and retrieval processes, as well as how certain questioning techniques can affect memory.
Upon completion of this course you will be able to:
- Explain how effective communication is influenced by perception.
- Explain how personal bias can influence communication and an investigation.
- Explain how building rapport can lead to effective communication.
- Explain how effective listening can lead to improved communication.
- Identify various ways in which investigational information can be inappropriately disclosed to the public and/or media.
- Explain how human memory is important to the discovery of investigative information and how it can be inadvertently influenced.
Content for this course was developed by the RCMP.
Content Provider: RCMP
Language: English / French
Length: 2 hours
Release Date: 2008-02-15