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Development and Validation of a Role-Play Test for Assessing Crisis (Hostage) Negotiation Skills

NCJ Number
Criminal Justice and Behavior Volume: 32 Issue: 3 Dated: June 2005 Pages: 345-361
Vincent B. Van Hasselt; Monty T. Baker; Stephen J. Romano; Alfred H. Sellers; Gary W. Noesner; Stan Smith
Date Published
June 2005
17 pages
This study described the development of a role-play test (RPT), specifically for crisis negotiators and determined the validity of the technique by determining the extent to which it discriminated expert from nonexpert crisis negotiators.
Even though hostage negotiation has been used in law enforcement over the past several decades, it continues to pose serious challenges to law enforcement professionals worldwide. The primary vehicle for the evaluation and training of crisis negotiation skills has been the behavioral assessment measurement strategy known as role-playing or a role-play test (RPT). As widespread as the application of role-play strategies is, relatively little attention has been directed to the systematic development and validation of the strategy itself. This study described the development and validation of a role-play assessment procedure to assess crisis (hostage) negotiation skills. In addition, it provided preliminary validation support for the RPT, and evaluated the correspondence between use of active-listening skills in role-plays and self-report measures of social problem-solving skills and emotional empathy. The results indicate that in comparison to experts, nonexpert negotiators show deficiencies across active-listening skill categories. Relationships between use of active listening and emotional empathy are observed. Overall, the results are consistent with the current emphasis on empathic listening and effective communication, crisis intervention, and crisis negotiation. References