It’s long been an anecdotal truism for people who work in interrogation-related fields—from policing to intelligence—that rapport-building techniques work much better for extracting information than verbal or physical coercion. The problem was the science wasn’t behind them, mostly due to the difficulty of studying a field where most of the evidence is classified.

Well. A pair of researches have overcome that obstacle, and been able to empirically assert what’s long been suspected: torture doesn’t work. And, specifically, it doesn’t work when compared to other, less confrontational, techniques.