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Who is the better eyewitness? Adults and children

Otgaar, H., Howe, M. L. ORCID: 0000-0002-5747-5571, Merckelbach, H. and Muris, P. (2018). Who is the better eyewitness? Adults and children. Current Directions in Psychological Science,

Abstract

Suggestibility is regarded as a major issue when children testify in court. Many legal professionals and memory researchers view children as inferior witnesses. Although differences exist between children and adults in suggestibility, these are much more complex than is usually assumed. We show that under certain conditions, adults are more susceptible to suggestion and false memories than children. We demonstrate that age-related shifts in suggestibility and false memory appear contingent on how fast and automatic children and adults make associations when experiencing events. Specifically, when confronted with suggestive information about a related, but non-experienced detail, adults more frequently than children, automatically generate links between items experienced and those already in memory making them more susceptible to suggestion than children.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: Otgaar, H., Howe, M. L., Merckelbach, H. & Muris, P. Who is the better eyewitness? Adults and children. Current Directions in Psychological Science. Copyright © 2018, the authors. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
Publisher Keywords: Suggestibility; Development; False Memory; Developmental Reversal; Associative Activation
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/19272
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