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Psychology and the Law ch 5

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York University
PSYC 3310
Regina Schuller

History After the Salem witch trials children being used as witnesses for the defense has had skepticismIn the 1970s there was an increase about research on childrens witness abilities Four factors were seen as the leading cause for the resurgence of research on children witnessesExpert psychology testimony was increasing and more acceptableSocial scientist wanted to be able to apply the research to real world problemsStudies on adult eyewitness testimony were increasing also pretty faulty Legal community became interested in child witnesses and behavioral sciencesRecall for events Children are accurately able to recall forensic related details and are capable of havingaccurate recall problem is we dont know when they are fabricating making false claim Free recall vs directed questioningChildren report little when using free recall Older children and adults are more resistant to leading questions than younger kids Yes or no questions are more problematic than wh questions who what etcYes or no questions rely on recognition and not on recall so they are more likely to be erroneous when answering the questions Why are children more suggestible than adultsTwo reasons could be social compliance giving a response they think the interviewer wants and their cognitive or memory system
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