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

Louisa Morrison, Zoe Given-Wilson, Amina Memon

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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
Article numbere4185
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2024

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