Did they really do that? Judging the veracity of children’s stories after parental coaching

Compton-Gillingham, Cassy C. (2015) Did they really do that? Judging the veracity of children’s stories after parental coaching. Memorial University of Newfoundland. (Unpublished)

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In court cases professionals and lay persons, may be asked to distinguish truthful from deceitful reports given by young children. In this study, 109 university students and members of the general public judged whether children were telling the truth about the experience of travelling by plane. One of seven videos, each depicting one child being interviewed (either of three females or four males from the ages of 7-11), was shown to participants. Four children were giving truthful accounts, two of whom had prepared their own stories and two of whom had been helped by a parent; and three children were telling a false story, one of whom had prepared his/her own story, and two of whom had been prepared by parents who had flown before. Participants were above chance when judging true accounts for both prepared (77%) and unprepared conditions (75%). However, 63% of the unprepared lies were judged correctly, as opposed to only 45% of the coached lies being judged correctly. Participants who made correct veracity decisions said that high quantity of details (30%) and unstructured reproduction (21%) indicated truthfulness. Unsuccessful participants mentioned that information the participants perceived as incorrect (21%) was indicative of deception. Results show adults’ veracity decisions are impacted by preparation which can adversely affect the courts ability in making a just decision.

Item Type: Other
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11624
Item ID: 11624
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 22-24).
Department(s): Grenfell Campus > School of Arts and Social Science > Psychology
Date: 2015
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Truthfulness and falsehood in children; Storytelling ability in children; Parental influences; Lie detectors and detection

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