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The effects of question format and co-witness peer discussion on the confidence accuracy of children’s testimonies

Journal article
Authors Sandra Buratti
Sandra MacLeod
Carl Martin Allwood
Published in Social influence
Volume 9
Issue 3
Pages 189-205
ISSN 1553-4510
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 189-205
Language en
Keywords Confidence, co-witness, peer-discussion, children, recall
Subject categories Psychology


Different types of social influence can affect eyewitness testimony. This study examined the effects of question format (free recall and prompts) and co-witness peer discussion on the confidence accuracy of memory reports of children aged 9–11 years. Pairs of children watched one of two perspectives of a film. Half of the pairs discussed the film; the rest discussed non-relevant topics. Children responding to prompts had a lower proportion of correct memory reports, were less confident, and showed poorer confidence accuracy compared with free recall. During free recall, the children showed near perfect confidence accuracy. No peer discussion effects were found; however, 33% of the children in the film discussion condition reported commission errors.

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