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ERIC Number: EJ1262543
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0888-4080
The Efficacy of Free-Recall, Cognitive Load, and Closed-Ended Questions When Children Are Asked to Falsely Testify about a Crime
Wyman, Joshua; Foster, Ida; Crossman, Angela; Colwell, Kevin; Talwar, Victoria
Applied Cognitive Psychology, v33 n4 p544-560 Jul-Aug 2019
The current study evaluated the benefits of free-recall, cognitive load, and closed-ended questions on children's (ages 6 to 11; N = 147) true and false eyewitness disclosures. Children witnessed an experimenter find a stranger's wallet and were then asked to make a false denial, false accusation, true denial, or true accusation regarding an alleged theft. Overall, the free-recall question resulted in longer, more forthcoming and more detailed disclosures from older children and those who made a truthful accusation; however, children under the age of 9 and lie-tellers mostly relied on the closed-ended questions to discuss the theft. Although the cognitive load questions resulted in newly recalled information, there were no significant narrative differences between true and false statements on these questions. These findings suggest that forensic professionals should consider a child's developmental level, statement veracity, and disclosure-type (denial vs. accusation) when examining the efficacy of these commonly used questioning strategies.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A