An examination of the reliability of young children as eyewitnesses

I dreaded this assignment. I had read many empirical research articles in other psychology classes, but I never felt that I completely understood them. I struggled to find articles that were well organized and understandable at an undergraduate level. I was thrilled to find Dr.

An examination of the reliability of young children as eyewitnesses

Generally, infants are born with formed brain systems and their brains develop very rapidly during the first three years. The glial cellswhich play a vital role in proper brain function e. The volume of white matter starts its linear increase from age four to 20, but cortical gray matter is decreases in the parietal, occipital and temporal regions starting from age four, continually changing until after age For example, "Do you remember what the doctor said to you last time you visited him?

Elementary school students were more successful at this task than preschoolers.

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Overall, children need more prompts to remember past events and recall fewer details than older children. Stress also appears to disrupt the function of the hippocampus as it reduces the likelihood for details to be remembered in a logical sequence. The prefrontal cortex Prefrontal cortex[ edit ] The prefrontal cortex is another brain region involved in eyewitness testimonies.

Its function in relation to memory is to create memories that are vivid and that have a lot of contextual detail. Studies have found that children tend to give few details of the event and sometimes distort them in eyewitness testimonies. Short term memory occurs in the prefrontal cortex.

Working memory is another process that relies on the prefrontal cortex. They also play a role in emotion and learning [13] and are concerned with processing and interpreting auditory stimuli. This is a major location for memory storage and is associated with memory skills.

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Parts of the temporal lobe show late maturation. These regions are of the last brain regions to mature.

The red areas indicate the location of the amygdala Amygdala[ edit ] The amygdala is located deep within the temporal lobe of the brain and is involved in the acquisition and retrieval of information on highly salient events.

The amygdala does not stop developing until late adolescence. Research studies have found that in normal developing children, the volume of amygdala increases substantially between seven and 18 years of age.

Short term memory[ edit ] Short term memory is defined as the ability to store information for a short period of time.

An examination of the reliability of young children as eyewitnesses

If it is rehearsed enough, it will be transferred into long term memory. This is important to know in regards to eyewitness testimonies because children have problems transferring short term memories to long term, as discussed previously.

Overall, there are a number of differences in memory among adults and children. With regards to short term memory, a child's capacity to store items is less than that of an adult. More specifically, evidence has shown that a five-year-old can only store up to five items in short term memory, whereas adults are able to store around seven items.The young kids don't." False Memories.

However, Ceci warned that people relying on the eyewitness testimony of children need to be careful about how that information is obtained. Published: Mon, 5 Dec The accuracy, reliability of memory and credibility of the eyewitness testimonies (EWTs) of children is the focus of many heated debates.

examination of a child, the Model Law provides that such an examination must only go forward if the court determines that there are compelling reasons to do so and where the best interests of the child are a primary consideration.

22 As in determining whether testimony can be given, the.

An examination of the reliability of young children as eyewitnesses

Because young children typically volunteer few recollections of anything when asked in a general way about the events of their lives, the use of suggestive and leading questions became prevalent in abuse investigations (Brainerd & Reyna, ). This article reports on the results of two research studies carried out by the authors that address the questions of how and how well judges assess the honesty and reliability of children’s testimony.

"The worst accuracy is very young kids, 2- and 3-year-olds," he said. "They omit a lot of stuff that happens and they add stuff that didn't happen but if you look at accuracy, it .

The Reliability of Children’s Eyewitness Testimony | Prized Writing