Recalling- Children witnesses

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  • Recalling- Children as Witnesses
    • Brigham et al
      • Optimum memory function between 20-65 years old
      • Found younger children are less reliable witnesses
      • Children are more vulnerable to false information or misleading questions than adults
    • Source Monitoring Questions
      • Ceci- "Source Monitoring Questions can improve child witness testimoney
      • SMQ- Questions to check reliability of child's answers by checking where they got the information
        • E.g. "Do you recall what happened or did someone tell you?"
      • Samuel & Bryant
        • Asking a child the same question more than once can confuse them into thinking the 1st answer was wrong
    • Language
      • Courtroom language is often too complicated for children to understand
      • Lawyers often use double negatives
        • "Is it not true you were home that night?"
      • Goodman and Schaff
        • 2 groups of kids aged 5-7
        • The other group were asked "The pirate engaged in blowing bubbles didn't he?"
        • 1 group were asked "The pirate blew bubbles didn't he?"
    • Use of Cognitive Interview
      • Holliday
        • 9-10 year old's interviewed by CI were less likely to be influenced by misleading info than a standard interview
    • Leading Questions
      • Children can feel intimidated by interviwer
      • How to stop children being mislead:
        • Encourage them not to do what adults suggest just to avoid disapproval or to avoid being embarrassed/ rejected
        • Explain admitting lack of knowledge/ memory is ok


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