FROM PERSON DESCRIPTIONS TO INTERVIEWING METHODS: WHAT CAN BE DONE TO IMPROVE CHILD WITNESSES’ TESTIMONIES?; pp. 95–108Full article in PDF format | doi: 10.3176/tr.2009.2.01
Recently an increasing number of studies have been conducted in psychology and law. This paper reviews more closely relevant research concerning child witnesses. Several factors which may affect witness testimonies are covered, including theoretical issues regarding person descriptions such as verbal and visual processing, and characteristics influencing these processes. Also, archival and empirical studies of person descriptions and characteristics of witnesses are reviewed. Finally, the outcomes of different methods which were intended to increase the quality and quantity of children’s person descriptions (but have had limited success) are overviewed such as the standard model for comparison. In order to achieve the best balance between quantity and quality in children’s accounts, it is recommended that interviewers learn to use structured methods such as the NICHD protocol or the cognitive interview.
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