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NCJ Number: 119522 Find in a Library
Title: Reaction to Child (Versus Adult) Eyewitnesses
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:13  Issue:2  Dated:(June 1989)  Pages:103-132
Author(s): M Leippe; A Romanczyk
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 29
Grant Number: SES-8711659
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Five studies examined how college students react to child eyewitnesses.
Abstract: Across the five studies, eyewitness age generally made a difference in how subjects reacted to the eyewitness and to the case. In study 1, subjects made predictions about a staged crime study involving eyewitnesses of varying ages. The subjects predicted poorer recall for children under 10 than for those 12 and over. In studies 2-5, subjects read and reacted to written criminal cases in which the principal prosecution eyewitness was either a child or an adult. In general, young (under 10) eyewitnesses were judged less credible than adult eyewitnesses, and less guilty verdicts were rendered when the eyewitnesses were under 10 with an otherwise strong prosecution case. Inconsistencies lowered the credibility of young eyewitnesses, but not adult eyewitnesses. The patterns presented in the studies suggests the important roles of jurors' preconceptions, eyewitness behaviors, and whether the latter confirm or disconfirm the former. 55 references, 5 tables. (Author abstract modified)
Main Term(s): Juvenile witnesses; Witness credibility
Index Term(s): Children in the courtroom; Eyewitness testimony
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