Younger and Older Adults' Lie-Detection and Credibility Judgments of Children's Coached Reports

42 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2019

See all articles by Alison Mary O'Connor

Alison Mary O'Connor

Independent

Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Gould School of Law

Angela Evans

Brock University Psychology Department

Date Written: January 7, 2019

Abstract

Previous research has examined young and middle-aged adults’ perceptions of child witnesses; however, no research to date has examined how potential older adult jurors may perceive a child witness. The present investigation examined younger (18-30 years, N = 100) and older adults’ (66-89 years, N = 100) lie-detection and credibility judgments when viewing children’s truthful and dishonest reports. Participants viewed eight child interview videos where children (9 to 11 years of age) either provided a truthful report or a coached fabricated report to conceal a transgression. Participants provided lie-detection judgments following all eight videos and credibility assessments following the first two videos. Participants completed a General Lifespan Credibility questionnaire to assess credibility evaluations across various witness ages. Lie-detection results indicated that older adults had significantly lower discrimination scores, a stronger truth bias, and greater confidence compared to younger adults. Older adults also rated children as more competent to testify in court, credible, honest, believable, and likeable than younger adults. Participants with greater differences in their credibility evaluations for truth and lie-tellers were significantly more accurate at detecting lies. Responses to the Lifespan Credibility questionnaire revealed significant differences in younger and older adults’ credibility evaluations across the lifespan.

Suggested Citation

O'Connor, Alison Mary and Lyon, Thomas D. and Evans, Angela, Younger and Older Adults' Lie-Detection and Credibility Judgments of Children's Coached Reports (January 7, 2019). Forthcoming in Psychology, Crime, & Law; USC CLASS Research Papers Series No. CLASS19-2; USC Law Legal Studies Paper No. 19-2. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3311625

Alison Mary O'Connor

Independent ( email )

No Address Available

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)

Angela Evans (Contact Author)

Brock University Psychology Department ( email )

500 Glenridge Avenue
St. Catherines, Ontario L2S 3A1
Canada

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