The Effects of Implicit Encouragement and the Putative Confession on Children's Memory Reports

80 Child Abuse & Neglect, 113-112

USC CLASS Research Papers Series No. CLASS18-5

USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series No. 18-5

39 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2018 Last revised: 6 Apr 2018

See all articles by Kyndra Cleveland

Kyndra Cleveland

Vanderbilt University - Peabody College

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: April 5, 2018

Abstract

The current study tested the effects of two interview techniques on children's report productivity and accuracy following exposure to suggestion: implicit encouragement (backchanneling, use of children's names) and the putative confession (telling children that a suspect "told me everything that happened and wants you to tell the truth"). One hundred and forty-three, 3-8-year-old children participated in a classroom event. One week later, they took part in a highly suggestive conversation about the event and then a mock forensic interview in which the two techniques were experimentally manipulated. Greater use of implicit encouragement led to increases, with age, in children's narrative productivity. Neither technique improved or reduced children's accuracy. No increases in errors about previously suggested information were evident when children received either technique. Implications for the use of these techniques in child forensic interviews are discussed.

Keywords: forensic interview, children, memory, implicit encouragement, putative confession, suggestibility

Suggested Citation

Cleveland, Kyndra and Quas, Jodi and Lyon, Thomas D., The Effects of Implicit Encouragement and the Putative Confession on Children's Memory Reports (April 5, 2018). 80 Child Abuse & Neglect, 113-112; USC CLASS Research Papers Series No. CLASS18-5; USC Legal Studies Research Papers Series No. 18-5. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3144758

Kyndra Cleveland (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Peabody College ( email )

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

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)

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