Incentive interrogation techniques

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Incentive interrogation techniques often supplement other methods of generally interrogation, by offering some reward for the desired behavior on the part of the person being interrogated. While it may be as basic as offering a cookie or cigarette in response to answering a direct question, [1] the incentive can also be the stopping of even indirect coercion. For example, if the interrogator were using a "Hate of Comrades" interrogation technique, the interrogator would not be able to complete the "deal" without giving the subject a means of revenge. [2]

These techniques also include the withdrawing of incentives. Phifer's described the starting point for interrogation at Guantanamo detention camp as being reasonably comfortable, but, even when still using nothing more coercive than direct questioning, the incentive of a pleasant voice or a comfortable chair could be withdrawn.

Associating rewards with desired behavior is a form of operant conditioning.


  1. Jerald Phifer (October 11, 2002), Memorandum for Commander, Joint Task Force 170: Request for Counter-Resistance Strategies, Joint Task Force 170, Department of Defense
  2. Chris Mackey & Greg Miller (2004), The Interrogators: inside the secret war against Al-Qaeda, Little, Brown & Co., ISBN 0-316-87112-5, p. 483