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Sources of unreliable testimony from children

Poole,DA, Dickinson,JJ and Brubacher,SP 2014, Sources of unreliable testimony from children, Roger Williams university law review, vol. 19, no. 2, Spring, pp. 382-410.

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Title Sources of unreliable testimony from children
Author(s) Poole,DA
Dickinson,JJ
Brubacher,SP
Journal name Roger Williams university law review
Volume number 19
Issue number 2
Season Spring
Start page 382
End page 410
Publisher Roger Williams University
Place of publication Bristol, RI
Publication date 2014-04-02
ISSN 1090-3968
Summary We distilled research findings on sources of unreliable testimony from children into four principles that capture how the field of forensic developmental psychology conceptualizes this topic. The studies selected to illustrate these principles address three major questions: (a) how do young children perform in eyewitness studies, (b) why are some children less accurate than others, and (c) what phenomena generate unreliable testimony? Throughout our research, our focus is on factors other than lying that produce inaccurate or seemingly inconsistent autobiographical reports.Collectively, this research has shown that (a) children’s eyewitness accuracy is highly dependent on context, (b) neurological immaturity makes children vulnerable to errors under some circumstances, and (c) some children are more swayed by external influences than others. Finally, the diversity of factors that can influence the reliability of children’s testimony dictates that (d) analyzing children’s testimony as if they were adults (i.e., with adult abilities, sensibilities, and motivations) will lead to frequent misunderstandings. It takes considerable knowledge of development—including information about developmental psycholinguistics, memory development, and the gradual emergence of cognitive control—to work with child witnesses and to analyze cases as there are many sources of unreliable testimony.
Language eng
Field of Research 170199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 920501 Child Health
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2014, Roger Williams University
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30072273

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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