Psychologists Involvement in Coercive Interrogations

The psychologists play a crucial role in society. The psychologists are involved in the areas of counseling, research, and teaching. Additionally, they are involved in policy development, social intervention, conducting assessments, and forensic activities. The Principles of Psychologists and Code of Conduct provide the intent, procedure and application of ethics code. The psychologists cannot be abstained from involvement in coercive interrogations; however, the involvement of the clinical psychologist in interrogations brings about ethical conflict. The clinical psychologists are supposed to alleviate the suffering; however, they permit mentally harmful questioning through coercion.

The rules that govern psychologists require the ethical mandate to apply under all circumstances. The psychologist is not supposed to engage in, facilitate or mete torture or other human degrading treatment. These behaviors are in any instance against the professional code of the psychologist’s professional identities (Behnke, 2006). However, war on terrorism has led to new developments of psychologists obtaining sensitive information for the necessity of the national security. To gain such intelligence psychologists are used to interview the noncompliant detainees.

Our outstanding writers are mostly educated to MA and PhD level

The psychologists help the security personnel to extract useful knowledge through interviewing the subjects to help improve the security of the country. The psychologists may act in understanding the behavioral science through research to assist improve the state of security with homeland security. The psychologists may be able to provide assistance by gathering intelligence through developing the interrogation strategies, and create models of terrorist behavior. This can help the security organs to develop new ways to avert threats or attacks by communicating with intelligence agencies (Stevens, 2005).

The role of the psychologist in coercive interrogations is to get information from the detainees with the aim of preventing intended harm to the United States citizens (Kara). However, the interrogations need to be balanced to obtain information through efficient and non-cruel manner.


Stevens, M. (2005). What Is Terrorism and Can Psychology Do Anything to Prevent It?
Behaviour Science and Law. 23: 507-26.
Behnke, S. (2006). Ethics and interrogations: Comparing and contrasting the American Psychological, American Medical and American Psychiatric Association positions. Monitor on Psychology. 37(7).
Kara, C. (nd). Psychologists and coercive interrogation.

Get a price quote