The Impact of Emotionally Evocative Information on Interpreting Accuracy in a Mock Asylum Interview

Louisa Morrison, Zoe Given-Wilson, Amina Memon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In asylum interviews, interpreters often relay emotionally evocative information. This study compared interpreting accuracy of emotionally evocative and neutral information. Twenty-eight Arabic-English interpreters participated in a mock asylum interview held via videoconferencing. They interpreted between an English interviewer and a Sudanese-Arabic applicant who performed a scripted interview including neutral and emotionally evocative responses. Pre-interview, interpreters completed a secondary traumatic stress measure. English interpretations of the Arabic neutral and emotionally evocative responses were recorded, transcribed, and coded for interpreting errors. Emotionally evocative responses were interpreted 4% to 8% less accurately than neutral responses, which was a significant medium to large effect. Secondary traumatic stress did not moderate differences in interpreting accuracy between conditions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 11 Feb 2024

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