Children’s Testimony: Age-Related Patterns of Memory Errors

  • Karen J. Saywitz


Courtroom testimony by children has been the focus of long-standing controversy. In recent years, children have begun to testify in many cases where they are likely to be the only witness, as in cases of child abuse. Although cultural stereotypes lead us to be skeptical of trusting children’s testimony, judges are called upon to determine how best to use children’s testimony in court (Goodman, 1984; Goodman, Golding, & Haith, 1984). Employing their discretion on a case-by-case basis, judges must often predict which aspects of a child’s testimony will be trustworthy and comparable to adult performance, as adult testimony, too, can be unreliable (Loftus, 1979).


Free Recall Retention Interval Memory Error Child Witness Legal Setting 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1987

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  • Karen J. Saywitz

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