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Opinions of legal professionals: Comparing child and adult witnesses' memory report capabilities

Knutsson, Jens LU and Allwood, Carl Martin (2014) In The European Journal of Psychology Applied To Legal Context 6(2). p.79-89
Abstract
The opinions of legal professionals about child and adult witnesses might influence the likelihood that a case is allowed to proceed through the different stages of the legal process. With the aim of knowing the opinions of legal practitioners about child and adult witnesses, 84 legal professionals (Swedish police, prosecutors, and attorneys) were surveyed about their beliefs about child and adult eyewitness memory (and metamemory) abilities. The respondents answered 27 questions relating to nine forensically relevant belief areas in which they compared the memory ability of children (ages 7 to 11 years) and adults. The results showed no differences in assessment among members of different professions and a general trend suggesting that,... (More)
The opinions of legal professionals about child and adult witnesses might influence the likelihood that a case is allowed to proceed through the different stages of the legal process. With the aim of knowing the opinions of legal practitioners about child and adult witnesses, 84 legal professionals (Swedish police, prosecutors, and attorneys) were surveyed about their beliefs about child and adult eyewitness memory (and metamemory) abilities. The respondents answered 27 questions relating to nine forensically relevant belief areas in which they compared the memory ability of children (ages 7 to 11 years) and adults. The results showed no differences in assessment among members of different professions and a general trend suggesting that, across the professions, children were believed to be poorer witnesses than adults regarding their memory abilities. Moreover, the professionals' within-group consensus was very low. These results are discussed in the context of eyewitness research findings and with respect to the implications for both legal and research practice. (C) 2014 Colegio Oficial de Psicologos de Madrid. Production by Elsevier Espana, S.L. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Eyewitnesses, Legal professionals, Opinions, Children, Adults, Event, memory, Metamemory
in
The European Journal of Psychology Applied To Legal Context
volume
6
issue
2
pages
79 - 89
publisher
Sociedad Espanola Psicologia Juridica Forense
external identifiers
  • wos:000337990900005
  • scopus:84904464690
ISSN
1989-4007
DOI
10.1016/j.ejpal.2014.06.001
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
72ab5e44-72f1-4899-a07c-8809788131a0 (old id 4608921)
date added to LUP
2014-08-29 10:35:21
date last changed
2017-08-13 03:20:25
@article{72ab5e44-72f1-4899-a07c-8809788131a0,
  abstract     = {The opinions of legal professionals about child and adult witnesses might influence the likelihood that a case is allowed to proceed through the different stages of the legal process. With the aim of knowing the opinions of legal practitioners about child and adult witnesses, 84 legal professionals (Swedish police, prosecutors, and attorneys) were surveyed about their beliefs about child and adult eyewitness memory (and metamemory) abilities. The respondents answered 27 questions relating to nine forensically relevant belief areas in which they compared the memory ability of children (ages 7 to 11 years) and adults. The results showed no differences in assessment among members of different professions and a general trend suggesting that, across the professions, children were believed to be poorer witnesses than adults regarding their memory abilities. Moreover, the professionals' within-group consensus was very low. These results are discussed in the context of eyewitness research findings and with respect to the implications for both legal and research practice. (C) 2014 Colegio Oficial de Psicologos de Madrid. Production by Elsevier Espana, S.L. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Knutsson, Jens and Allwood, Carl Martin},
  issn         = {1989-4007},
  keyword      = {Eyewitnesses,Legal professionals,Opinions,Children,Adults,Event,memory,Metamemory},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {2},
  pages        = {79--89},
  publisher    = {Sociedad Espanola Psicologia Juridica Forense},
  series       = {The European Journal of Psychology Applied To Legal Context},
  title        = {Opinions of legal professionals: Comparing child and adult witnesses' memory report capabilities},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejpal.2014.06.001},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2014},
}