Valence, Implicated Actor, and Children's Acquiescence to False Suggestions

43 Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology 1 (2016)

USC CLASS Research Papers Series No. CLASS15-37

USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series No. 15-39

8 Pages Posted: 16 Dec 2015 Last revised: 12 Jan 2016

See all articles by Kyndra Cleveland

Kyndra Cleveland

University of California, Irvine

Jodi Quas

University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society

Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Date Written: January 12, 2016

Abstract

Although adverse effects of suggestive interviewing on children's accuracy are well documented, it remains unclear as to whether these effects vary depending on the valence of and the actor implicated in suggestions. In this study, 124 3-8-year-olds participated in a classroom activity and were later questioned about positive and negative false details. The interviewer provided positive reinforcement when children acquiesced to suggestions and negative feedback when they did not. Following reinforcement or feedback, young children were comparably suggestible for positive and negative details. With age, resistance to suggestions about negative details emerged first, followed by resistance to suggestions about positive details. Across age, more negative feedback was required to induce acquiescence to negative than positive false details. Finally, children were less willing to acquiesce when they (versus the confederate) were implicated. Findings highlight the interactive effects of valence and children's age on their eyewitness performance in suggestive contexts.

Keywords: valence, suggestibility, acquiescence, selective reinforcement, interviewer bias, children

Suggested Citation

Cleveland, Kyndra and Quas, Jodi and Lyon, Thomas D., Valence, Implicated Actor, and Children's Acquiescence to False Suggestions (January 12, 2016). USC CLASS Research Papers Series No. CLASS15-37; USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series No. 15-39. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2703623

Kyndra Cleveland

University of California, Irvine ( email )

Campus Drive
Irvine, CA 62697-3125
United States

Jodi Quas

University of California, Irvine - Department of Criminology, Law and Society ( email )

2340 Social Ecology 2, RM
Irvine, CA 92697

Thomas D. Lyon (Contact Author)

University of Southern California Gould School of Law ( email )

699 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States
213-740-0142 (Phone)
213-740-5502 (Fax)

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
26
Abstract Views
707
PlumX Metrics