ERIC Number: ED279934
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Children's Eyewitness Memory for Same and Different Racial Models.
Okagaki, Lynn; And Others
Recently, young children have been allowed to testify as competent witnesses in courts of law and the testimony of a single child can be very important in sexual abuse cases. A study was conducted to examine the accuracy of nursery school children's eyewitness accounts in a naturalistic setting. Nursery school students (N=31) viewed two women, one white and one black, present a puppet show. Four days later, the children were asked to identify the two women, each from a three-person line-up. Nineteen white children and one Asian child agreed to complete the identification task. In trials in which the children picked someone out of the line-up, 50% of the total responses were correct; children correctly identified the white adult 60% of the time and the black adult 40% of the time. When no response was scored as lack of recognition, the rate of accuracy dropped to 32.3% overall, 39% for white adults, and 26% for black adults. Older children (over the median age of 49 months) were found to be better than younger children at identifying both the black and the white adults. These findings suggest that, under the conditions of the study, young children have difficulty identifying strangers they have seen 4 days earlier. Future research should assess recall abilities of young children in different situations. (NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (Baltimore, MD, April 12-15, 1984).