ISU Professor Can Comment on Effective Interrogation Methods in Response to CIA Report

Article ID: 627235

Released: 9-Dec-2014 1:00 PM EST

Source Newsroom: Iowa State University

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  • Credit: Iowa State University

    Christian Meissner

AMES, Iowa – Christian Meissner, a professor of psychology at Iowa State University, is available to comment on the CIA report detailing interrogation tactics used when questioning terror suspects. Meissner leads a multi-million dollar research program, funded by the U.S. government’s High Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HIG) that is evaluating interrogation methods.

“While our research does not speak to the efficacy of so-called ‘enhanced methods’ or torture – such research would be inappropriate based upon psychological and human subject research principles of ethical conduct – our research clearly shows that ethical, rapport-based approaches to interrogation are more effective than psychologically manipulative, accusatorial methods – a scientific finding that marries with the experiences of many highly skilled interrogators around the world,” Meissner said.

The “Intelligence Interviewing and Interrogation” program aims to identify existing techniques that are the most effective and develop new techniques to improve the collection of human intelligence in the interrogation booth.

The HIG program, with a portfolio of more than 60 research studies on intelligence interviewing methods, incorporates rigorous science and methods to ensure practitioners are equipped with knowledge from the behavioral and social sciences that will make them better interrogators, interviewers and debriefers.

Of the CIA report, Meissner adds, “I would hope that the report promotes a dialogue around the ethics of interrogation practice, and importantly, a focus on scientifically validated approaches that preserve our duty to treat others with legal and ethical safeguards.

“Our goal is to measure the impacts of research-based methods of interrogation while at the same time ensuring that scientific studies make a long-term positive contribution to training programs.”

More information about the HIG and Meissner’s research can be found at:

To arrange an interview, you can contact Meissner directly at or 515-294-2119. Angie Hunt in the ISU News Service office, 515-294-8986 or, can also assist with interview requests. Iowa State University News Service has a fully equipped, digital broadcast studio, available for live video interviews to broadcast networks.


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