Study Guides (238,280)
Canada (115,054)
Psychology (919)
PSYC 3020 (30)
Dan Yarmey (29)

psyc of law unit 6.docx

7 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Guelph
PSYC 3020
Dan Yarmey

UNIT 6 - CHILD AS EYEWITNESS & VICTIM history: early views traced back to Salem witch trials involving children who told falsehoods and got people executed -- made people skeptical towards the reliability and accuracy of child testimony (views held for following 300 years) - negative views were further supported by research done in Europe in early 20th century which suggested young children were highly susceptible to suggestion and had difficulty separating fact from fantasy - research on this issue boomed in the 70s and CECI and BRUCK outlined 4 factors that led to the renewed interest in child witnesses (1) expert psychological testimony was more acceptable in court room (2) social scientists interest in research that could be applied to real-world problems (3) increasing studies on adult eyewitnesses (4) the legal community became interested in behavioural science research regarding child witnesses --> in response to the increasing number of reported sexual and physical abuse cases where a child was a victim or witness MARTENSVILLE BABYSITTING CASE: showed how children are highly suggestible to leading questions and rewards were offered to children for providing the "right answer" (testimony of expert witness in case) husband and wife were acquitted but son remained charged > highlights the challenge of determining when children are recalling accurate information and when they are fabricating (false claims) FREE RECALL VS. DIRECT QUESTIONING > accuracy is comparable to adults when children are asked to report all they can remember using a free narrative approach -- however children may provide little info so direct questions or probes are often necessary > yes/no direct questions or forced-choice questions are particularly problematic for preschoolers > study by WATERMAN, BLADES, SPENCER showed that children were more likely to answer accurately when asked "wh" questions as opposed to yes/no questions; this is because yes/no questions rely on recognition memory as opposed to recall which increases the likelihood for error WHY ARE CHILDREN MORE SUGGESTIBLE THAN ADULTS? > social characteristics of the interview which can influence the way children respond to the interviewer; can produce social compliance (do what you think the interviewer wants you to do) and social pressure to trust and cooperate with the adult interviewer - illustrated in study by HUGHES/GRIEVE which had children answer yes/no illogical questions that should be answered with "I don'k know" -- many of the children answered yes or no despite the fact that there was no answer > changes to the cognitive system show that there are differences in the way children vs adults encode, store and retrieve memories, differences in terms of forgetting and retention, and children "misattribute" where information comes from (e.g. someone suggests an event occurred and the child report the "suggestion" believing that it did occur) anatomically detailed dolls: a doll, sometimes like a rag doll, that is consistent with the male or female anatomy; it is used when a child may have difficulty verbally describing the event they experienced or witnessed so the dolls provide a prop for them to demonstrate what occurred > research is controversial surrounding the validity of using these dolls (pg. 152) > usually used with child sexual abuse victims > debate over whether these should be used as there are no specific guidelines for the manufacturers of the dolls, no standard procedures for scoring behaviours children exhibit while using them, and we don't know whether there is a difference between the way abused/non-abused children play with the dolls criterion-based content analysis (CBCA): analysis that uses criteria to distinguish truthful from false statements made by children; developed in Germany by Udo Undeutsh and is now part of a more comprehensive protocol called statement validity analysis (SVA) statement validity analysis (SVA): a comprehensive protocol to distinguish truthful or false statements made by children and contains 3 parts (1) structured interview of the child witness/victim (2) a systematic analysis of the verbal content of the child's statement by using the CBCA (consisting of 3 sub categories with 18 criteria- general characteristics of child's claims, specific content and motivation-related contents) (3) the application of a statement validity check-list > it is assumed that true events are more likely to contain the CBCA criteria than fabricated events > criticisms of the CBCA are the inconsistencies with the amount of criteria that needs to be present to conclude truthfulness, research showing that age of interviewee is positively correlated with scores (younger children do not have cognitive ability to provide as many details as older children) & the scores given are highly subjective and does not ensure inter-rater reliability > these methods are used in Europe to assess child and adult statements for truthfulness step-wise interview -- procedure used in Canada: interview protocol with a series of "steps" designed to start the interview with the least leading and directive type of questioning, and then proceed to more specific forms of questioning when necessary (i.e. to seek an elaboration from the child based on details they provided during free recall/narrative) > steps (9) -- (1) rapport building, (2) recall of 1 or 2 non-abusive events, (3) provide child with an explanation of truth, (4) introduce the critical topic by asking child if they know why they are here, (5) free-narrative, (6) general questions, (7) specific questions if necessary, (8) interview aids (pictures, dolls) if necessary, (9) conclude by thanking child explain what will happen next > study done comparing modified structured interview (similar to SWI but specific questions are asked using "wh" questions), with step-wise and Action for Child Protection procedure using doll play -- A for C was least effective and modified and SWI were comparable (modified better for where questions) narrative elaboration: developed in US; it is an interview procedure whereby children learn to organize their story into relevant categories -- participants, settings, actions, conversation/affective states, and consequences -- cards are given to children representing each category and serve as visual cues to help the child remember to state all they can - child practices with cue cards telling neutral stories firsts to learn how to use them and then uses them to describe event > study done to illustrate effectiveness of cue cards + instruction (i.e narrative elaboration) and showed that children in the N.E. group reported more accurate information but not more inaccurate information & mental reinstatement has no effect on accuracy National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Interview Protocol > developed by Dr. Michael Lamb and is an interviewing procedure that relies on open-ended questioning with 2 types of prompts available to the interviewer (1) time prompts -- asking what happened next? (2) cue question prompts -- details that the child has reported are used in the question and children are asked to elaborate on it - also addresses how to introduce topic / rapport building -- similar to step-wise interview but less structured false memory syndrome: term to describe clients' false beliefs that they were sexually abused as children, having no memories of this abuse until they enter therapy to deal with some other psychological problem, such as depression or substance abuse recovered memories: term for sexual abuse memories that are so traumatic individuals repress them in their unconscious -- it is only as adults and with the help of therapy that these individuals are able to recall the abuse > controversial issue because some psychologists do not believe these memories exist and only come about through suggest
More Less

Related notes for PSYC 3020

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.