Memory, Suggestibility, and Eyewitness Testimony in Children and Adults

  • Maria S. Zaragoza


Eyewitness’s ability to accurately perceive, remember, and report witnessed events has received a great deal of attention from experimental psychologists over the last decade (Bekerian & Bowers, 1983; Christiaansen & Ochalek, 1983; Christiaansen, Sweeney, & Ochalek, 1983; Clifford & Hollin, 1981; Loftus 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979a, 1979b; Loftus, Miller, & Burns, 1978; Loftus & Zanni, 1975; McCloskey & Zaragoza, 1985; Weinberg, Wadsworth, & Baron, 1983; Yarmey, 1979). While we have learned much about eyewitness testimony in adults as a consequence, there has been relatively little parallel work on the reliability of eyewitness testimony in children. Nevertheless there is a critical need for up-to-date research on the reliability of children’s testimony. Attempts to prosecute cases of physical or sexual abuse, in which the child involved may be the only witness, have brought to the fore issues pertaining to the accuracy and reliability of their testimony (Melton, 1981). Laws for dealing with child witnesses are currently in transition, and the courts are turning to social scientists for information and advice (see Goodman, 1984, for an extensive review of past and present laws concerning child witnesses).


Critical Item Original Information Original Event Misleading Information Eyewitness Testimony 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1987

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  • Maria S. Zaragoza

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