PCRS Colloquium

Guest lectures/international events 2012-2013

Department of Psychology of Conflict, Risk and Safety

25th of July 2013 – 15.00-16.00 hrs

Room: Carré HB-2A

TITLE: Crisis (Hostage) Negotiation Training: Strategies and Issues in the Use of Simulations and Role Playing

PRESENTER: Vincent B. Van Hasselt, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Criminal Justice Nova Southeastern University, Fort Lauderdale, FL, U.S.A.


Simulations and role play procedures have been the mainstay of crisis (hostage) negotiation training for many years. Indeed, law enforcement professionals and mental health experts have utilized these strategies as a vehicle for both performance evaluation and instruction. The purpose of simulations and role plays has been to provide negotiators with opportunities to acquire and utilize negotiation skills in instructional contexts that are both realistic and relevant. The ultimate goal of these efforts is to increase the likelihood that negotiators will be successful in their attempts to resolve high-risk and often volatile situations in a peaceful, nonviolent manner. The purpose of this presentation is threefold: (1) to discuss collaborative projects with the Federal Bureau of Investigation that have led to the development and validation of a role play procedure that has been incorporated in law enforcement negotiation training; (2) to review a variety of simulation and role play methods that have been effectively employed in this training; (3) to examine considerations and possible limitations in the use of such analogue strategies. Applications of simulations and role playing to other areas of concern for law enforcement (e.g., crisis management, emergency and mass casualty disasters) are discussed. Suggestions for directions that future research in this area might take are offered.