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Lecture 11

Lecture 11

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PSYC 2400
Adelle Forth

Lecture 11- Child Witnesses Tuesday, February 8, 2011 - This material will be on the final (from now on) - **Question** o Which of the following would be considered a system variable in eyewitness research?  D) The gender of the police officer selected to interview the witness o According to the text, when an eyewitness simultaneously compares lineup members to one another and then makes a decision based on who they believe looks most like the culprit, they are making a(n)  B) Relative judgment - Memory is not like a videotape—we reconstruct our memories - Hillary Clinton talked about a trip she took 12 years ago o She was trying to emphasize the fact that she had been in dangerous places, could function in stressful situations o She is pretty clear—arrived in Bosnia, there was supposed to be a greeting ceremony but they landed under sniper fire, had to run to cars o She had Chelsea (daughter) with her, dashed to cars, etc. o Reporter checked this out—there WAS a greeting ceremony—she greeted the troops, shook their hands, spent a lot of time in ceremony, there was no sniper fire, plane didn’t dash around, they didn’t run to car o Her reaction: I’m human. o She could have reconstructed her memory and it was very convenient when making her speech. - Lineup identification o Example of situation: someone breaks into home and assaults parent, child is witness o How reliable would 3,5,8-year old be in identifying perpetrator? o For lineup identification, if TARGET IS THERE, (suspect-present) children are just as accurate adults o In TARGET-ABSENT lineup, children are more likely to do false identification - Pozzulo at Carleton, doing research with someone from Queen’s o Elimination lineup: combined simultaneous and sequential o Present all the photos—asked them to select who looks most like the culprit (relative judgment), then took them away and asked them to select the photograph that is most like the person they saw o Simultaneous vs. elimination o Simultaneous—children worse than adults in correct rejection (target-absent condition) o Elimination—no difference between children and adults—suggested police use this type for children - ___ features are most commonly reported by all children o Interior or exterior? o **ANSWER: exterior features are more commonly reported - Most common feature reported by both children and adults: HAIR - Who describes more descriptors—older or younger? o **ANSWER: older - Children provide less detailed information but are as accurate o Recall the early research that said children should never testify in court o It depends on how you interview child o Just don’t use leading questions and everything should be fine—it has nothing to do with the kids, more to do with interviewers o Easier to influence child—more suggestible - Research looking at suggestibility in children o Repeating questions—closed-ended questions  If you keep asking the same question over and over, they can realize that they’re not giving the answer you want to hear (they’re used to being questioned by parents, teachers, etc.) and they’ll change their answer  4-10 times average, children will get interviewed  But in some of these cases, where there’s been dramatic exposes of child abuse by day care, these children were interviewed 60 times  Asking the same questions—not surprising that they change o Rapport  If misinformation is coming from authority figure, more likely to incorporate (social worker, police, etc.)  Less likely to believe misinformation from another child  Also more likely to give misleading information in warm environment— social worker/police takes time to support and get to know child, bad  Closed-ended question (particularly yes/no): extremely problematic  75% of children who are 4-6 years old answer yes to yes/no questions  Asking in a forced format, kids have a yes bias  If you ask them to elaborate, they’ll make up some story  If you just ask free recall, most will be accurate - Sam Stone Study o Went to daycare, 3-4 year olds and 5-6 year olds o Stranger came in (Sam Stone), they were told he’s coming to visit o He walked in during story time, walked around, looked at some pictures, continued all the way around the group and left o He also stopped to listen and said, ‘Oh, that’s my favourite story.’ o They interviewed these kids on 5 different conditions o Control condition: what happened when Sam Stone came to visit? o Stereotype condition: before Sam Stone came to visit, teacher told the kids, ‘You’ll never guess who came to visit me last night. He asked to borrow my Barbie. He was walking down the stairs, tripped and broke her arm. That Sam Stone is always getting into accidents and breaking things. But that’s okay, because he’s getting my Barbie doll fixed for me.’  He’s always clumsy, does things by mistake  **Used stereotype condition because when police interview children, they often say something like, “That bad man did something to you. Your teacher was not acting in a very nice fashion.” They will derive stereotypes about the potential perpetrator. o Suggestion condition: tried to implant misinformation—when Sam Stone came to class, he got that teddy bear dirty. Did he do it on purpose or was it an accident? —later interviews: was Sam Stone happy or sad when he got it dirty? o Combined condition: stereotype and suggestion o Free narrative: 10 weeks later, “I wasn’t there. What happened?”—the specific question was, “Did Sam Stone stain the teddy bear?” (implanted information) or “Did Sam Stone rip a page out of the book?” (did not implant this information) o Results for 3-4 year olds  Control kids were never told anything about the teddy bear or book • During free narrative, never came up with anything about the teddy bear or book (never self-generated) • When asked specific question (Did he do this?), 10% answered yes—problem with the format of the question (yes/no format)  Stereotype kids were told that Sam Stone is clumsy • When asked specific question (Did he stain the teddy bear?), 37% said yes—based on the stereotype (he is likely to do something like that)  Suggestion kids had implanted false information • During free narrative, reported that Sam Stone did something to teddy bear—21% • 53% said yes in yes/no  Suggestion/stereotype • 46% said yes in free narrative • 72% said yes in specific question o Results for 5-6 year olds  Suggestion/stereotype • 30% free narrative • 50% specific question • **Less errors, but still make errors—still suggestible - Can you implant a false memory? (Loftus) o Lost in a shopping mall  Contacted university students’ parents about 3 true stories that happened in their childhood  And then she asked them to make up a story about them getting lost a shopping mall  Students thought parents were asked to give 3 true stories from childhood  She was criticized for relating this to false memories about sexual abuse —not that stressful for the child  So she tried to implant a different memory • **What percent of students believed they got lost in mall but never were? o 21% o When Loftus asked what happened, they started confabulating o Stressful medical procedure  Mom asked to write a story, falsify it  2 true events, one made up  At age 8, you had
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