Inaccuracies in Children’s Testimony combines the literature on obedience to authority with that on suggestibility to create a third literature. This book examines children’s testimony from several perspectives and gives you insightful suggestions for increasing children’s abilities to testify accurately about traumatic things that have happened to them. In doing so, you’ll learn how to ensure that those who abuse or sexually exploit children are brought to justice while those falsely accused are adequately protected.How children are questioned to learn what they have witnessed is crucial due to the effects the questioning sessions may have on their testimonies--improper questioning may lead to inaccurate answers. This is just one of the many areas of children’s testimony covered in Inaccuracies in Children’s Testimony. In each of the chapters you’ll discover new ways for increasing the accuracy and dependability of children’s testimony as you read about:
- factors that affect children’s testimonies
- suggestibility--definition and research, including sources of suggestibility
- how obedience to authority can explain children’s behavior as witnesses
- children’s memory in the courtroom and what they are able to remember
- how children’s involvement in the courts can be problematic
- free versus prompted recall--which is more accurate and why the “worst” method is often used with children
- Milgram’s theory of obedience to authority tied to children as witnesses
- review of the literature on the effects of stress, prompting, and imagination on children’s recall
- ideas for future researchExperts in the field of legal testimony, legal personnel, child counselors, psychologists, social workers, and faculty and students of related courses will find Inaccuracies in Children’s Testimony an essential resource for understanding the importance of making the child victim/witness more believable and reliable.
Table of Contents
- Children’s Memory in the Courtroom: What Do Children Remember?
- The Effects of Stress, Prompting, and Imagination on Children’s Recall
- Suggestibility: Is the Witness Telling the Truth or Reacting to Suggestion?
- Realities in the Research on Children’s Suggestibility: Criticisms, Increasing Accuracy, and Situational Sources
- Research on Authority: Can It Help Explain Children’s Testimony?
- Why People Obey--Milgram’s Theory
- Conclusions and Future Directions: How Can We Bolster Children’s Testimony?
- Reference Notes Included