Meenaghan, A., Nee, C., Van Gelder, J.-L., Otte, M., & Vernham, Z. (2018). Getting Closer to the Action : Using the Virtual Enactment Method to Understand Burglary. Deviant Behavior, 39(4), 437–460. doi:10.1080/01639625.2017.1407104
In this article we describe a new method, the Virtual Enactment Method (VEM), to enhance offender recall and motivation to disclose information by having burglars reflect on their experience while committing a crime in a simulated virtual environment. Participants, a sample of 61 incarcerated burglars, ‘thought aloud’ whilst undertaking a virtual burglary. Following the ‘virtual’ burglary, emerging themes were expanded upon in an interview. We show that the simulated environment effectively reinstates the criminogenic event, increases engagement, enhances recall, and encourages participants to talk more openly about their experiences, skills and knowledge.