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NCJ Number: 148100 Find in a Library
Title: Young Children's Classification of the Corroboration of a False Statement as the Truth or a Lie
Journal: Law and Human Behavior  Volume:17  Issue:6  Dated:(December 1993)  Pages:645-659
Author(s): J J Haugaard
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 15
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Children's ability to provide accurate information during an investigation or trial is discussed.
Abstract: This article reports on an investigation of children's definitions of the truth that can pertain to their ability to provide accurate information during an investigation or trial: whether corroborating an inaccurate statement made by a parent is lying or telling the truth. There are several characteristics of such a statement that children may attend to when determining whether it is a lie or the truth. If they attend to the objective inaccuracy of the corroboration, they are likely to determine that it is a lie. If they attend to the fact that the statement is being made by a powerful adult who, in the past, has defined right and wrong, then they may view the statement as right, and consequently the truth. Subjects were 133 preschool through third-grade children who were shown a videotape in which either a boy makes a false statement to a neighbor about the neighbor's daughter hitting him and his mother listens passively or a mother makes a similar false statement and the boy corroborates it. None of the children classified the corroboration as the truth. Only a small percent of the preschool and kindergarten children classified the boy's or mother's initial false statement as the truth; all of the older children classified these statements as a lie. About 20 percent of the children recalled incorrectly that the neighbor's daughter hit the boy. The author cautions that several characteristics of this investigation limit the generalizability of the results. References
Main Term(s): Juvenile witnesses
Index Term(s): Courts; Witness credibility
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