What do we mean by "rationalizations" when conducting interviews/interrogations in the intelligence community?

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readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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When we delve into interrogations, we realize that there are many theories and techniques out there. According to J. P. Blair, a scholar in this area, there are several tactics, which include: direct confrontation, theme development, dealing with resistance, alternative questions, and developing details. 

All of these tactics can be used or only a few of them in a given case. Based on the context, the interrogator must decide what would be optimal. 

One of the methods is called rationalization. This method seeks to provide a moral excuse to make the crime plausible. This might sound odd, but there is a logic to it. The interrogator seeks to elicit a confession by minimizing the crime and making it seem almost acceptable. For instance, if a person robbed a bank, the investigator might talk about the financially difficult times or the high unemployment rate. When an investigator goes this route, he or she is trying to give a rational basis for the crime. The crime, therefore, seems socially more acceptable. The goal, of course, is to gain a confession. 

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