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PSYC 3020 (97)
Dan Yarmey (94)
Chapter 6

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYC 3020
Professor
Dan Yarmey
Semester
Winter

Description
CHAPTER 6 HISTORYReviews from early twentieth century Europe seemed to conclude that young children were highly suggestible and had difficulty separating fact from fantasy and thus were capable of providing inaccurate testimony even if the testimony was of personal significanceCeci and Bruck 1993 outlined four factors that led to the renewed interest in child witnesses o Expert psychological testimony was becoming more acceptable in the courtroom o Social scientists were interested in research that could be applied to realworld problems o Studies on adult eyewitness testimony were increasing o The legal community became interested in behavioural science research regarding child witnesses RECALL FOR EVENTSStudies have found that children are capable of accurately recalling forensically relevant details of events The challenge of course is determining when children are recalling accurately and when they are fabricating ie making false claims Research suggests that the accuracy of childrens reporting is highly dependent on how they are asked to reportFree Recall versus Directed QuestioningWhen children are asked to report all they can remember using free narrative approach their accuracy in reporting is comparable with that of adultsWhen children are asked leading direct questions they are more likely to produce an erroneous response than when they are asked nonleading direct questionsOlder children are more resistant to leading questions than are younger children and adults are even more resistant to leading questionsDirect questions that require yes or no responses or use a forcedchoice format are particularly problematic for preschoolersYesno questions are particularly problematic for children Melnyk Crossman and Scullin 2006 suggest that this maybe the case because these questions reply on recognition rather than recall thus increasing the likelihood of error Why are Children More Suggestible than AdultsIt has been found that children respond to interviewers in the manner they feel the interviewer desires a tendency known as social compliance Another reason has been the developmental changes in children in their cognitive or memory system Social compliance or Social Pressure
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