Age trends in eye-witness suggestibility and compliance

Robinson, Julie and Briggs, Pamela (1997) Age trends in eye-witness suggestibility and compliance. Psychology, Crime and Law, 3 (3). pp. 187-202. ISSN 1068-316X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10683169708410812

Abstract

This paper addresses two issues: whether there is a developmental trend in suggestibility to misleading post-event information, and whether suggestibility can be reduced by use of part of the cognitive interview. Twenty participants from each of three age groups (four-to-five year olds, eight-to-nine year olds and adults) watched a filmed event, and half of the participants in each age group were subsequently asked to recall everything they had seen using a method derived from the cognitive interview procedure. Following this, all participants were asked questions about the filmed event, some of which incorporated misleading information. Twenty four hours later the witnesses were interviewed again, this time critical questions were included about the truth of the presuppositions introduced in the initial questionnaire. It was found that although the eight-to-nine year olds were more suggestible than adults, the apparent greater suggestibility of very young children (four-to-five years) could potentially be explained in terms of heightened compliance to the perceived demands of the interviewer. The 'be complete' part of the cognitive interview only produced an improvement in performance for the eight-to-nine year olds.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Child witness, eye-witness testimony, interview procedures, suggestibility
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > School of Life Sciences > Psychology
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2015 13:30
Last Modified: 10 Aug 2015 11:53
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/18980

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