Evija Strika, Raitis Eglītis
Suggestibility is the degree to which someone responds to and is influenced by suggestions made by someone or something. Scientific studies have shown that suggestibility most often correlates with memory processing, false memory and false confession phenomena and is crucial to child testimony and forensic psychological examination.
Traditionally, there are two general suggestibility research approaches: the experimental psychology and the individual difference approach. Experimentally designed studies reflect the effects of misinformation – conditions under which suggestions affect recall of events. The individual difference approach seeks to identify people as being more or less suggestible, relating different degrees of suggestibility with several cognitive and personality variables. Both approaches suggest that certain social, cognitive and psychological factors affect the accuracy of a person`s report (testimony).
The current article will focus primary on the accuracy of children reports in the context of forensic psychological examination. The inaccuracy can be due to unconscious assimilation of false suggestions and pressure made by those (usually adults) who have access to the child (suggestibility) or to conscious lies on the part of the child. Some data extractions from research in relation to factors affecting the accuracy of children`s reports during forensic psychological examinations and overall children`s testimonies will be provided. In this context, a case study from forensic psychological examination will be discussed.
Raktiniai žodžiai: child testimony, suggestibility, interviewer pressure, demographic factors, cognitive factors, psychosocial factors.
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