Children are particularly suggestible and tend to

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Unformatted text preview: ies. • Suggestibility is influenced by: – Age (very young are most suggestible). – Whether the interviewers’ expectations are clear. – Whether other children’s memories for events are accessible - one woman accused another who ran a daycare of sexually abusing her child - no parents had actually seen evidence of mistreatment - none of the children had complained to their parents – e.g., Martensville Saskatchewan abuse case - police investigate, questioning the children who went to the daycare (nothing suspicious was reported) - rumors spread, kids added these to their memories and added to stories with conviction - no evidence was found except for peoples fears, police arrested accused and fined - conclusion: everything is all exaggerated since the kids started to believe in it and told the stories in their way Studies of Child Witnesses • A young man visited children at their preschool, – read them a story, and handed out treats. – did nothing aggressive, inappropriate, or surprising. • 1 week later, the experimenter questioned the children about the man’s visit. – Group A: leading questions (“Did he shove the teacher?”) – Group B: leading questions + influence techniques similar to those used in Martensville (telling the children what “other kids” had supposedly said, repeated questioning, etc.) Children’s Testimony Social Pressure, False Allegations • When asked if a visitor committed acts that had not occurred, few 4-6 year olds said yes. – 30% of 3-year olds said yes • When investigators used techniques taken from real child-abuse investigations, most children (1/2 to 4/5! )said yes....
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