Psychology and Law: Truthfulness, Accuracy and Credibility

By Amina Memon; Aldert Vrij et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 5
INTERVIEWING WITNESSES
The Effects of Long Delays88
Facial Identification92
Individual Differences93
Suggestibility93
Suggestion from Stereotypes96
Interviewing Vulnerable Witnesses99
Contributions from Cognitive Psychology100
Contributions from Social Psychology101
Interviewer Manner102
Summary and Conclusion106

Just 20 years ago, there had been published very few quality psychological studies on the interviewing of child witnesses (see Loftus & Davies, 1984, for a review). In the next 10 years, the situation improved a little so that the body of such research (plus useful ideas derived from developmental, cognitive and other “core areas” of psychology) was sufficient to enable the government in England and Wales to produce an official guidance document entitled Memorandum of Good Practice on Video Recorded Interviews with Children for Criminal Proceedings (Home Office and Department of Health 1992), which the third author of the present book and a professor of law (Diane Birch) were commissioned to draft (Bull, 1992, 1996). However, in the last 10 years, the number of high-quality psychological studies on this topic has grown to several thousand (for a comprehensive review, see Westcott, Davies & Bull, 2002; for a series of seminal papers see Bull, 2001).

In this chapter, space permits us to provide only an overview of a few of the major current research topics on interviewing children (for a wider view of child

-87-

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Psychology and Law: Truthfulness, Accuracy and Credibility
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • About the Authors ix
  • Preface xi
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 1
  • Chapter 2 - Telling and Detecting Lies 7
  • Chapter 3 - Facial Appearance and Criminality 37
  • Chapter 4 - Interviewing Suspects 57
  • Chapter 5 - Interviewing Witnesses 87
  • Chapter 6 - Psychological Factors in Eyewitness Testimony 107
  • Chapter 7 - False Memories 127
  • Chapter 8 - Jury Decision Making 147
  • Chapter 9 - The Role of Expert Witnesses 169
  • References 181
  • Index 221
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