Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Why are we not studying interrogation techniques?

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Very interesting post by Clive Thompson, which begins:

I’ve read a ton about the debate over torture, but in a piece in today’s New York Times Week In Review, Scott Shane makes a new and excellent point: The government has spent virtually nothing studying the sciences of influence and persuasion and how they apply to interrogation.

Shane points out that well-known fact that the Army Field Manual explicitly advises against torture; it offers instead a set of observations about human motivation that an interrogator can exploit. (“People tend to want to talk when they are under stress and respond to kindness and understanding during trying circumstances,” for example.) This is the sort of behavioral psychology we’ve all learned at the foot of prime-time police procedurals. But, as Shane points out, an understanding of this stuff isn’t reflected at the highest levels of government, which is either a symptom — or a cause — of the bigger problem, which is that the feds don’t avail themselves of the truckloads of research that’s been done in recent decades, partly by corporations eager to get people to buy, y’know, $300 prestressed jeans.

As Shane writes …

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

4 September 2008 at 5:00 pm

Posted in Daily life, Science

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