An examination of the reliability of young children as eyewitnesses

Causes of eyewitness error[ edit ] "System variables" police procedures [ edit ] One of the primary reasons that eyewitnesses to crimes have been shown to make mistakes in their recollection of perpetrator identities, is the police procedures used to collect eyewitness evidence.

J Appl Psychol 79 5: However, Ceci said that the ability to relay detail varies by age. He found that victims of robberies were able to provide more detailed description for the events than did victims of rape or assault.

The Crown Prosecution Service. Is there any difference between the eyewitness testimony of children and adults? Although the results so far have been encouraging, much more research is needed before it can be concluded that I-I-Eye method is an effective safeguard for eyewitness error.

At the one month interview, the six-year-olds were more likely to correctly answer positive leading questions than the eight-year-olds, and the eight-year-olds were more likely to correctly answer the negative leading questions. Citing a different study that showed levels of free recall for three- and six-year-old children were fairly high and both groups tended to answer misleading questions correctly, the researchers asserted that in certain circumstances younger children tend to be more suggestible than older children Ornstein et al.

1 Children's evidence

Knowledge of eyewitness memory. Appl Cogn Psychol 25 3: For example, Greene 57 simplified and clarified the Telfaire instructions. A new interviewer was used so that the answers the children gave were neutral and not influenced by previous interviewers in any way.

Law Hum Behav 13 4: After one week, only the positive and negative leading groups were interviewed again. The reform officers averaged 6. Group identification If it is more suitable than video identification or an identification parade, the witness may be asked to pick a person out after observing a group.

Goodman gave inoculations to 76 children between the ages of three and seven and found that those who were most severely distressed by the experience those who screamed, cried, struggled later remembered more about the event and were more resistant to suggestion than those who did not experience distress.

Consequently, abuse status is relevant in Goodman et al.

How Reliable Are Young Children As Eyewitnesses?

Intelligence Another factor that has been studied as a contributing variable in the accuracy of child eyewitness testimony is intelligence. Older children have higher success rates in transferring memory from short term to long term than younger children, which plays a role in why younger children have poorer recall in eyewitness testimonies.

Eyewitness identification

The rate of error appears to be directly related to the complexity of the questions posed: The solutions discussed above could help to significantly reduce eyewitness error and the wrongful convictions that result from them.

In the written narrative condition, misinformation was introduced, such as mislabeling the color of the woman's coat or mentioning that she was wearing glasses when she was not.

Eyewitness identification

Accordingly, psychologists need to do a better job of educating legal professionals how reforms can benefit them This study showed that during free recall all children provided reports that were highly accurate. This research has found that children are often as accurate as adults at discriminating the origins of their memories.

While age differences were not found in the photo identification task, the research pointed to age differences in memory abilities and suggestibility. They were asked only about the play session, which was a nonabusive social interaction, and not about any actual abuse they may have experienced outside of the experiment.

Interviewing by the police. The fact that Goodman et al. On the other hand, encoding specificity predicts that retrieval cues that reinstate salient aspects of the meaning of events will have the opposite effect, by increasing the match between those cues and the content of gist traces.

When we talk about compliance in interview settings, we are referring to children reporting what they think the interviewer wants them to say.Whether eyewitness reports provided by children during a criminal court case are reliable, is frequently questioned.

Factors that can influence the reliability of these reports are children’s memory capacity, their susceptibility to suggestion, and the delay between a crime and providing an eyewitness statement.

How Reliable Are Young Children As Eyewitnesses? How Reliable Are Young Children As Eyewitnesses? Use research on children’s episodic memory to support your answers. The law has traditionally viewed children as unreliable witnesses, based on.

An Examination of the Reliability of Young Children as Eyewitnesses PAGES 5. WORDS 2, View Full Essay. More essays like this: children as eyewitnesses, children episodic memory, children as unreliable witnesses. Not sure what I'd do without @Kibin.

This article reports on the results of two research studies carried out by the authors that address the questions of how and how well judges assess the honesty and reliability of children’s testimony.

A hoary assumption of the law is that children are more prone to false-memory reports than adults, and hence, their testimony is less reliable than adults’. Since the s, that assumption has been buttressed by numerous studies that detected declines in false memory between early childhood and.

Published: Mon, 5 Dec The accuracy, reliability of memory and credibility of the eyewitness testimonies (EWTs) of children is the focus of many heated debates.

Reliability of Children’s Testimony in the Era of Developmental Reversals Download
An examination of the reliability of young children as eyewitnesses
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