ERIC Number: ED333997
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Cognitive Interview Techniques for Use with Children as Victims and Witnesses of Crime.
Geiselman, R. Edward; Saywitz, Karen J.
This paper describes research leading to the development and evaluation of techniques for effectively interviewing children who are witnesses to or victims of crime. The techniques were developed from basic theoretical principles of memory recall that were modified to accommodate the capabilities and limitations of children. The first experiment staged an event that resembled the type of crime that children testify about. The event was witnessed by pairs of children who were either 7-8 or 10-11 years old. One child in each pair participated in the scenario as victim, while the other child witnessed the event. Two days later, each child was questioned about the event by one of nine Sheriff's Deputies who were skilled in interviewing children. Each deputy used either cognitive questioning procedures or their own, "standard" methods. Findings indicated that questioning techniques of memory guidance based on principles of cognitive psychology significantly increased the number of facts recalled at each age level without affecting the number of incorrect items generated. The second experiment evaluated the usefulness of a practice cognitive interview about an innocuous staged event that took place prior to interviews about the event targeted for investigation. Both cognitive interviewing and practice with the technique increased the number of correct items recalled. (RH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Witnesses to Crime
Note: Paper presented at the Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development (Seattle, WA, April 18-20, 1991).