Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > “Tell me more about this…”

Electronic data

  • ACP-19-0165.R1_Proof

    Accepted author manuscript, 301 KB, PDF document

    Available under license: CC BY: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

“Tell me more about this…”: An examination of the efficacy of follow-up open questions following an initial account

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Feni Kontogianni
  • Lorraine Hope
  • Paul Taylor
  • Aldert Vrij
  • Fiona Gabbert
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/09/2020
<mark>Journal</mark>Applied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number5
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)972-983
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date24/04/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In information gathering interviews, follow‐up questions are asked to clarify and extend initial witness accounts. Across two experiments, we examined the efficacy of open‐ended questions following an account about a multi‐perpetrator event. In Experiment 1, 50 mock‐witnesses used the timeline technique or a free recall format to provide an initial account. Although follow‐up questions elicited new information (18–22% of the total output) across conditions, the response accuracy (60%) was significantly lower than that of the initial account (83%). In Experiment 2 (N = 60), half of the participants received pre‐questioning instructions to monitor accuracy when responding to follow‐up questions. New information was reported (21–22% of the total output) across conditions, but despite using pre‐questioning instructions, response accuracy (75%) was again lower than the spontaneously reported information (87.5%). Follow‐up open‐ended questions prompt additional reporting; however, practitioners should be cautious to corroborate the accuracy of new reported details.