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Younger And Older Adults' Lie-Detection And Credibility Judgments Of Children's Coached Reports, Alison M. O'Connor, Thomas D. Lyon, Angela Evans Sep 2019

Younger And Older Adults' Lie-Detection And Credibility Judgments Of Children's Coached Reports, Alison M. O'Connor, Thomas D. Lyon, Angela Evans

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Previous research has examined young and middle-aged adults’ perceptions of child witnesses; however, no research to date has examined how potential older adult jurors may perceive a child witness. The present investigation examined younger (18–30 years, N = 100) and older adults’ (66–89 years, N = 100) liedetection and credibility judgments when viewing children’s truthful and dishonest reports. Participants viewed eight child interview videos where children (9–11 years of age) either provided a truthful report or a coached fabricated report to conceal a transgression. Participants provided lie-detection judgments following all eight videos and credibility assessments following the first ...


Identifying Liars Through Automatic Decoding Of Children's Facial Expressions, Kaila Bruer, Sarah Zanette, Xiaopan Ding, Thomas D. Lyon, Kang Lee Sep 2019

Identifying Liars Through Automatic Decoding Of Children's Facial Expressions, Kaila Bruer, Sarah Zanette, Xiaopan Ding, Thomas D. Lyon, Kang Lee

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This study explored whether children’s (N=158; 4-9 years-old) nonverbal facial expressions can be used to identify when children are being deceptive. Using a computer vision program to automatically decode children’s facial expressions according to the Facial Action Coding System, this study employed machine learning to determine whether facial expressions can be used to discriminate between children who concealed breaking a toy(liars) and those who did not break a toy(nonliars). Results found that, regardless of age or history of maltreatment, children’s facial expressions could accurately (73%) distinguished between liars and nonliars. Two emotions, surprise and ...


On Juror Decision Making: An Empathic Inquiry, Dan Simon Aug 2019

On Juror Decision Making: An Empathic Inquiry, Dan Simon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This review examines the workings of jurors deciding criminal cases. It seeks not to commend or condemn jury decision making but rather to offer an empathic exploration of the task that jurors face in exercising their fact-finding duty. Reconstructing criminal events in the courtroom amounts to a difficult feat under the best of circumstances. The task becomes especially complicated under the taxing conditions of criminal adjudication: the often substandard evidence presented in court; the paucity of the investigative record; types of evidence that are difficult to decipher; the unruly decision-making environment of the courtroom; and mental gymnastics required to meet ...


The Effects Of The Putative Confession And Evidence Presentation On Maltreated And Non-Maltreated 9- To 12-Year-Olds' Coached Concealment Of A Minor Transgression, Angela Evans, Thomas D. Lyon Jul 2019

The Effects Of The Putative Confession And Evidence Presentation On Maltreated And Non-Maltreated 9- To 12-Year-Olds' Coached Concealment Of A Minor Transgression, Angela Evans, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The present study examined the influence of the putative confession (in which children are told that the suspect told them “everything that happened” and “wants [the child] to tell the truth”) and evidence presentation on 9- to 12-year-old maltreated and non-maltreated children’s disclosure (N = 321). Half of the children played a forbidden game with an adult confederate which resulted in a laptop breaking (no transgression occurred for the other half of children), followed by coaching to conceal the forbidden game and to falsely disclose the sanctioned game. Children were then interviewed about the interaction with the confederate. Among the ...


Effects Of The Putative Confession Instruction On Perceptions Of Children's True And False Statements, Jennifer Gongola, Nicholas Scurich, Thomas D. Lyon Jul 2019

Effects Of The Putative Confession Instruction On Perceptions Of Children's True And False Statements, Jennifer Gongola, Nicholas Scurich, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The putative confession instruction (“[suspect] told me everything that happened and wants you to tell the truth”) during forensic interviews with children has been shown to increase the accuracy of children’s statements, but it is unclear whether adult’s perceptions are sensitive to this salutary effect. The present study examined how adults perceive children’s true and false responses to the putative confession (PC) instruction. Participants (n = 299) watched videotaped interviews of children and rated the child’s credibility and the truthfulness of his/her statements. When viewing children’s responses to the PC instruction, true and false statements ...


Children's Concealment Of A Minor Transgression: The Role Of Age, Maltreatment, And Executive Functioning, Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon Jul 2019

Children's Concealment Of A Minor Transgression: The Role Of Age, Maltreatment, And Executive Functioning, Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This study examined the role of age, maltreatment status, and executive functioning (EF) on 752 4- to 9-year-old maltreated and nonmaltreated children’s recall disclosure of a transgression in which they appeared to have broken toys while playing with a stranger. Interviewers used narrative practice rapport-building and then questioned children with free recall and cued recall questions. Younger and maltreated children were more likely to disclose during rapport-building, whereas older and nonmaltreated children were more likely to disclose in response to recall questions. Working memory deficits appeared to mediate the relation between children’s characteristics and disclosure during rapport, but ...


Adults' Perceptions Of Children's Referentially Ambiguous Responses, Breanne E. Wylie, Thomas D. Lyon, Alison M. O'Connor, Christina Lapytskaia, Angela Evans Jul 2019

Adults' Perceptions Of Children's Referentially Ambiguous Responses, Breanne E. Wylie, Thomas D. Lyon, Alison M. O'Connor, Christina Lapytskaia, Angela Evans

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The present study examined adults’ (N = 295) interpretations of child witnesses’ referentially ambiguous “yes” and “no” responses to “Do You Know/Remember (DYK/R) if/whether” questions (e.g., “Do you know if it was blue?”). Participants were presented with transcripts from child sexual abuse cases modified based on question format (DYK/R vs. Direct) and child response type (Yes, No, I don’t know) in a between subjects design. We assessed whether adults recognized that children’s ambiguous responses were unclear, and if not, how they were interpreting children’s responses compared to the control (Direct) conditions. More specifically ...


The Role Of Kinship And Siblings In Young Children's Placement Preferences, Kelli Dickerson, Thomas D. Lyon, Jodi A. Quas Jun 2019

The Role Of Kinship And Siblings In Young Children's Placement Preferences, Kelli Dickerson, Thomas D. Lyon, Jodi A. Quas

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Although considerable attention has been directed toward the most appropriate placement for children following removal from home due to maltreatment, very little of this attention has focused on children’s stated preferences, particularly when they are young. Specifically, children under 12 years of age are typically presumed incompetent to form reasoned judgments about their best interests in placement. This assumption, however, has rarely been tested directly. We surveyed 100 4- to 11-year-olds removed from home because of maltreatment about their placement preferences. Children were less likely to indicate they wanted to return home if they were placed with siblings or ...


Increasing Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children's Recall Disclosures Of A Minor Transgression: The Effects Of Back-Channel Utterances, A Promise To Tell The Truth And A Post-Recall Putative Confession, Kelly Mcwilliams, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Thomas D. Lyon May 2019

Increasing Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children's Recall Disclosures Of A Minor Transgression: The Effects Of Back-Channel Utterances, A Promise To Tell The Truth And A Post-Recall Putative Confession, Kelly Mcwilliams, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Background: Children are often hesitant to disclose transgressions, particularly when they feel implicated, and frequently remain reluctant until confronted with direct questions. Given the risks associated with direct questions, an important issue is how interviewers can encourage honesty through recall questions. Objective: The present study examined the use of three truth induction strategies for increasing the accuracy and productivity of children’s reports about a transgression. Participants: A total of 285 4-to-9-year-old maltreated and nonmaltreated children. Methods: Each child took part in a play session with a stranger during which the child appeared to break some toys. A research assistant ...


Child Witnesses, Thomas D. Lyon, Kelly Mcwilliams, Shanna Williams Mar 2019

Child Witnesses, Thomas D. Lyon, Kelly Mcwilliams, Shanna Williams

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In this chapter we provide an overview of psychological issues involving children’s capacities as witnesses. First, we discuss the kinds of cases in which children are usually involved. Across different courts, one most often sees children describing abuse at the hands of familiar adults. Second, we describe the difficulties children encounter in disclosing abuse, particularly when it is perpetrated by adults close to them. These dynamics lead most children to remain silent, and only the most forthcoming children to disclose. Third, we suggest a framework for assessing children’s allegations, in which child-generated and adult-generated information lie on opposite ...


The Utility Of Direct Questions In Eliciting Subjective Content From Children Disclosing Sexual Abuse, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Catherine Liang, Thomas D. Lyon Mar 2019

The Utility Of Direct Questions In Eliciting Subjective Content From Children Disclosing Sexual Abuse, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Shanna Williams, Kelly Mcwilliams, Catherine Liang, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Background: Children alleging sexual abuse rarely exhibit emotion when disclosing, but they may be able to describe their subjective reactions to abuse if asked.

Objective: This study examined the extent to which different types of questions in child sexual abuse interviews elicited subjective content, namely emotional reactions, cognitive content, and physical sensations.

Participants and Setting: The study included transcripts of 205 Child Advocacy Center interviews with 4- to 12-year-old children alleging sexual abuse.

Methods: We coded questions for question type, distinguishing among invitations, wh- questions, yes/no and forced-choice questions, and suggestive questions. We coded both questions and answers for ...


Thin Empirics, Comment On Allen & Pardo: Relative Plausibility And Its Critics, Dan Simon Feb 2019

Thin Empirics, Comment On Allen & Pardo: Relative Plausibility And Its Critics, Dan Simon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In the target article of this symposium, Ron Allen and Michael Pardo advance the empirical claim that Relative Plausibility is the best account of juridical proof. While I tend to agree with the relative plausibility approach and endorse its holistic underpinnings, the article suffers from three weaknesses. First, the authors fail to substantiate their empirical claim. Second, the authors cite too casually to the Story Model. For all its brilliance, the story model provides too narrow a basis to serve as a general model of legal fact-finding. Finally, the authors fail to appreciate the adverse effects of holistic cognition on ...


Minimizing Error And Bias In Death Investigations, Dan Simon Feb 2019

Minimizing Error And Bias In Death Investigations, Dan Simon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

One of the prominent developments in the forensic sciences is the emergence of attention to cognitive aspects of forensic examination. Notable in this regard is the recognition that forensic results can be swayed by the examiner’s exposure to non-scientific background information that should arguably have no bearing on the result. To counter these effects, forensic agencies have introduced context management procedures, which are designed to withhold background information from the examiner during critical parts of the examination. Context management procedures are well suited for some forensic disciplines but apply less obviously to disciplines that entail complex, sprawling, iterative, and ...


Maltreated Children's Ability To Make Temporal Judgments Using A Recurring Landmark Event, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon, J A. Quas Jan 2019

Maltreated Children's Ability To Make Temporal Judgments Using A Recurring Landmark Event, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon, J A. Quas

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This study examined whether maltreated children are capable of judging the location and order of significant events with respect to a recurring landmark event. 167 6- to 10-year-old maltreated children were asked whether the current day, their last court visit, and their last change in placement were “near” their birthday and “before or after” their birthday. Children showed some understanding that the target event was “near” and “before” their birthday when their birthday was less than three months hence, but were relatively insensitive to preceding birthdays. Hence, children exhibited a prospective bias, preferentially answering with reference to a forthcoming birthday ...


Children's Conversational Memory Regarding A Minor Transgression And A Subsequent Interview, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon Aug 2018

Children's Conversational Memory Regarding A Minor Transgression And A Subsequent Interview, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Children’s memories for their conversations are commonly explored in child abuse cases. In two studies, we examined conversational recall in 154 4- to 9-year-old children’s reports of an interaction with a stranger, some of whom were complicit in a transgression and were admonished to keep it a secret. Immediately afterwards, all children were interviewed about their interaction. One week later, children were asked recall questions about their interaction with the stranger, their conversations with the stranger, and their conversations with the interviewer. Overall, interaction recall questions elicited few details about children’s conversations, whereas conversation recall questions were ...


The Effects Of Implicit Encouragement And The Putative Confession On Children's Memory Reports, Kyndra C. Cleveland, J A. Quas, Thomas D. Lyon Apr 2018

The Effects Of Implicit Encouragement And The Putative Confession On Children's Memory Reports, Kyndra C. Cleveland, J A. Quas, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

The current study tested the effects of two interview techniques on children's report productivity and accuracy following exposure to suggestion: implicit encouragement (backchanneling, use of children's names) and the putative confession (telling children that a suspect "told me everything that happened and wants you to tell the truth"). One hundred and forty-three, 3-8-year-old children participated in a classroom event. One week later, they took part in a highly suggestive conversation about the event and then a mock forensic interview in which the two techniques were experimentally manipulated. Greater use of implicit encouragement led to increases, with age, in ...


Ask Versus Tell: Potential Confusion When Child Witnesses Are Questioned About Conversastions, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon Jan 2018

Ask Versus Tell: Potential Confusion When Child Witnesses Are Questioned About Conversastions, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Children’s potential confusion between “ask” and “tell” can lead to misunderstandings when child witnesses are asked to report prior conversations. The verbs distinguish both between interrogating and informing and between requesting and commanding. Children’s understanding was examined using both field (i.e., Study 1) and laboratory (i.e., Studies 2-4) methods. Study 1 examined 100 5- to 12-year-olds’ trial testimony in child sexual abuse cases, and found that potentially ambiguous use of ask and tell was common, typically found in yes/no questions that elicited unelaborated answers, and virtually never clarified by attorneys or child witnesses. Studies 2-4 ...


The Effects Of Promising To Tell The Truth, The Putative Confession, And Recall And Recognition Questions On Maltreated And Non-Maltreated Children's Disclosure Of A Minor Transgression, Jodi A. Quas, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon Nov 2017

The Effects Of Promising To Tell The Truth, The Putative Confession, And Recall And Recognition Questions On Maltreated And Non-Maltreated Children's Disclosure Of A Minor Transgression, Jodi A. Quas, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This study examined the utility of two interview instructions designed to overcome children’s reluctance to disclose transgressions: eliciting a promise from children to tell the truth and the putative confession (telling children that a suspect “told me everything that happened and wants you to tell the truth”). The key questions were whether the instructions increased disclosure in response to recall questions and in response to recognition questions that were less or more explicit about transgressions, and whether instructions were differentially effective with age. Two-hundred and seventeen 4- to 9-year-old maltreated and comparable non-maltreated children played with a stranger. This ...


The Relation Between Young Children's False Response Latency, Executive Functioning, And Truth-Lie Understanding, Shanna Williams, Elizabeth C. Ahern, Thomas D. Lyon Nov 2017

The Relation Between Young Children's False Response Latency, Executive Functioning, And Truth-Lie Understanding, Shanna Williams, Elizabeth C. Ahern, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This study examined relations between children’s false statements and response latency, executive functioning, and truth-lie understanding in order to understand what underlies children’s emerging ability to make false statements. A total of 158 (2- to 5- year-old) children earned prizes for claiming that they were looking at birds even when presented with images of fish. Children were asked recall (“what do you have?”), recognition (“do you have a bird/fish?”), and outcome (“did you win/lose?”) questions. Response latencies were greater when children were presented with fish pictures than bird pictures, particularly when they were asked recall questions ...


"Where Were Your Clothes?" Eliciting Descriptions Of Clothing Placement From Children Alleging Sexual Abuse In Criminal Trials And Forensic Interviews, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon Nov 2017

"Where Were Your Clothes?" Eliciting Descriptions Of Clothing Placement From Children Alleging Sexual Abuse In Criminal Trials And Forensic Interviews, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Purpose: The present study examined how children alleging sexual abuse are asked about clothing placement during abusive episodes, both in criminal trials and forensic interviews. The placement of clothing is of great importance, because it facilitates distinguishing abusive touch from non-abusive touch, as well as the severity of abuse when the touching is in fact sexual. If clothing has not been removed, then sexual abuse appears less likely and certain types of sexual contact are physically impossible (or at least highly improbable). Methods: We examined how trial attorneys (n = 142) and forensic interviewers in investigative interviews (n = 155) questioned 5- ...


Relations Between Attorney Temporal Structure And Children's Response Productivity In Cases Of Alleged Child Sexual Abuse, J. Zoe Klemfuss, Kyndra C. Cleveland, J A. Quas, Thomas D. Lyon Nov 2017

Relations Between Attorney Temporal Structure And Children's Response Productivity In Cases Of Alleged Child Sexual Abuse, J. Zoe Klemfuss, Kyndra C. Cleveland, J A. Quas, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Purpose. Previous research has demonstrated that attorney question format relates to child witness’ response productivity. However, little work has examined the extent to which attorneys provide temporal structure in their questions, and the effects of this structure on children’s responding. The purpose of this study was to address this gap in the literature to identify methods by which attorneys increase children’s response productivity on the stand without risking objections from opposing counsel for ‘calling for narrative answers’.

Methods. In this study, we coded criminal court transcripts involving child witnesses (5–18 years) for narrative structure in attorney questions ...


When Interviewing Children: A Review And Update, Karen J. Saywitz, Thomas D. Lyon, Gail S. Goodwin Nov 2017

When Interviewing Children: A Review And Update, Karen J. Saywitz, Thomas D. Lyon, Gail S. Goodwin

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

In this chapter, we highlight principles for interviewing children based on the best available science, understanding that such principles keep changing as new evidence accumulates and that gaps exist in the knowledge base where guidance is limited. Interviewers will need to stay abreast of new developments. First, we briefly describe the data base from which the tools derive--studies conducted in the laboratory and in the field. Then we discuss evidence-based interview tools and features of the interview about which there is sufficient empirical evidence and consensus to derive “toolboxes.” We discuss interview structure, setting, children’s reluctance and suggestibility, rapport ...


Spatial Language, Question Type, And Young Children's Ability To Describe Clothing: Legal And Developmental Implications, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon Nov 2017

Spatial Language, Question Type, And Young Children's Ability To Describe Clothing: Legal And Developmental Implications, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Children’s descriptions of clothing placement and touching with respect to clothing are central to assessing child sexual abuse allegations. This study examined children’s ability to answer the types of questions attorneys and interviewers typically ask about clothing, using the most common spatial terms (on/off, outside/inside, over/under). Ninety-seven 3- to 6-year-olds were asked yes/no (e.g. “Is the shirt on?”), forced-choice (e.g., “Is the shirt on or off?”), open-choice (e.g., “Is the shirt on or off or something else?”), or where questions (e.g., “Where is the shirt?”) about clothing using a human ...


Pragmatic Failure And Referential Ambiguity When Attorneys Ask Child Witnesses "Do You Know/Remember" Questions, Angela D. Evans, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon May 2017

Pragmatic Failure And Referential Ambiguity When Attorneys Ask Child Witnesses "Do You Know/Remember" Questions, Angela D. Evans, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

“Do you know” and “Do you remember” (DYK/R) questions explicitly ask whether one knows or remembers some information while implicitly asking for that information. This study examined how 104 4- to 9-year-old children testifying in child sexual abuse cases responded to DYK/R wh- and yes/no questions. When asked DYK/R questions containing an implicit wh- question requesting information, children often provided unelaborated “Yes” responses. Attorneys’ follow-up questions suggested that children usually misunderstood the pragmatics of the questions. When DYK/R questions contained an implicit yes/no question, unelaborated “Yes” or “No” responses could be responding to the ...


Challenging The Credibility Of Alleged Victims Of Child Sexual Abuse In Scottish Courts, Zsofia Szojka, Samantha J. Andrews, Michael E. Lamb, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon May 2017

Challenging The Credibility Of Alleged Victims Of Child Sexual Abuse In Scottish Courts, Zsofia Szojka, Samantha J. Andrews, Michael E. Lamb, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This study examined the effects of credibility-challenging questions (n = 2,729) on 62 5- to 17-year-olds’ testimony in child sexual abuse cases in Scotland by categorizing the type, source, and content of the credibility-challenging questions defence lawyers asked and assessing how children responded. Credibility-challenging questions comprised 14.9% of all questions asked during cross-examination. Of defence lawyers’ credibility-challenging questions, 77.8% focused generally on children’s honesty, whereas the remainder referred to specific inconsistencies in the children’s testimony. Children resisted credibility challenges 54% of the time, significantly more often than they provided compliant responses (26.8%). The tendency to ...


The Effects Of The Hypothetical Putative Confession And Negatively-Valenced Yes/No Questions On Maltreated And Non-Maltreated Children's Dislcosure Of A Minor Transgression, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon Apr 2017

The Effects Of The Hypothetical Putative Confession And Negatively-Valenced Yes/No Questions On Maltreated And Non-Maltreated Children's Dislcosure Of A Minor Transgression, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This study examined the effects of the hypothetical putative confession (telling children “What if I said that [the suspect] told me everything that happened and he wants you to tell the truth?”) and negatively-valenced yes/no questions varying in their explicitness (“Did [toy] break?” vs. “Did something bad happen to the [toy]?”) on 206 4- to 9-year-old maltreated and non-maltreated children’s reports, half of whom had experienced toy breakage and had been admonished to keep the breakage a secret. The hypothetical putative confession increased the likelihood that children disclosed breakage without increasing false reports. The yes/no questions elicited ...


The Effects Of Secret Instructions And Yes/No Questions On Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children's Reports Of A Minor Transgression, Elizabeth C. Ahern, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon Feb 2017

The Effects Of Secret Instructions And Yes/No Questions On Maltreated And Nonmaltreated Children's Reports Of A Minor Transgression, Elizabeth C. Ahern, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Kelly Mcwilliams, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This study examined the effects of secret instructions (distinguishing between good/bad secrets and encouraging disclosure of bad secrets) and yes/no questions (DID: “Did the toy break?” versus DYR: “Do you remember if the toy broke?”) on 262 4- to 9- year old maltreated and nonmaltreated children’s reports of a minor transgression. Over two-thirds of children failed to disclose the transgression in response to free recall (invitations and cued invitations). The secret instruction increased disclosures early in free recall, but was not superior to no instruction when combined with cued invitations. Yes/no questions specifically asking about the ...


The Effects Of The Putative Confession And Parent Suggestion On Children's Disclosure Of A Minor Transgression, Elizabeth B. Rush, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, J A. Quas, Thomas D. Lyon Jan 2017

The Effects Of The Putative Confession And Parent Suggestion On Children's Disclosure Of A Minor Transgression, Elizabeth B. Rush, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, J A. Quas, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Purpose: This study examined the effects of the putative confession (telling the child that an adult “told me everything that happened and he wants you to tell the truth”) on children’s disclosure of a minor transgression after questioning by their parents. Methods: Children (N = 188; 4 – 7-year-olds) played with a confederate, and while doing so, for half of the children, toys broke. Parents then questioned their children about what occurred, and half of the parents were given additional scripted suggestive questions. Finally, children completed a mock forensic investigative interview. Results: Children given the putative confession were 1.6 times ...


The Productivity Of Wh- Prompts When Children Testify, Samantha J. Andrews, Elizabeth C. Ahern, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon Jan 2017

The Productivity Of Wh- Prompts When Children Testify, Samantha J. Andrews, Elizabeth C. Ahern, Stacia N. Stolzenberg, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

Wh- prompts (what, how, why, who, when, where) vary widely in their specificity and accuracy, but differences among them have largely been ignored in research examining the productivity of different question-types in child testimony. We examined 120 6- to 12-year-olds’ criminal court testimony in child sexual abuse cases to compare the productivity of various wh- prompts. We distinguished among what/how prompts, most notably: what/how-happen prompts focusing generally on events, what/how-dynamic prompts focusing on actions or unfolding processes/events, what/how-causality prompts focusing on causes and reasons, and what/how-static prompts focusing on non-action contextual information regarding location ...


Investigative Interviewing Of The Child, Thomas D. Lyon Jan 2017

Investigative Interviewing Of The Child, Thomas D. Lyon

University of Southern California Legal Studies Working Paper Series

This chapter reviews best practice interviewing for legal practitioners and others who work with children.