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Swedish legal professionals' opinions on child or adult witness memory-reporting capabilities: using the method of indirect comparisons

Knutsson, Jens LU and Allwood, Carl Martin (2015) In Applied Cognitive Psychology 29(3). p.392-406
Abstract
Legal professionals' opinions about the memory abilities of child and adult witnesses are important in the legal process. We surveyed 266 legal professionals (Swedish police, prosecutors, and attorneys) and 33 lay judges about their beliefs about child and adult eyewitnesses' recall and metacognitive abilities. Prior research has usually asked for direct comparisons of children and adults but this may be rare in forensic practice. The respondents completed a story questionnaire (about a 9- or 45-year-old person witnessing an event), allowing indirect, or researcher-made, comparisons. In contrast to previous research (direct comparisons), our participants mostly rated children and adults to be on an equal level, but within-group consensus... (More)
Legal professionals' opinions about the memory abilities of child and adult witnesses are important in the legal process. We surveyed 266 legal professionals (Swedish police, prosecutors, and attorneys) and 33 lay judges about their beliefs about child and adult eyewitnesses' recall and metacognitive abilities. Prior research has usually asked for direct comparisons of children and adults but this may be rare in forensic practice. The respondents completed a story questionnaire (about a 9- or 45-year-old person witnessing an event), allowing indirect, or researcher-made, comparisons. In contrast to previous research (direct comparisons), our participants mostly rated children and adults to be on an equal level, but within-group consensus was low. Also, fairly few differences emerged between the groups' beliefs. Finally, the participants' opinions in our study were less in line with results from eyewitness research, compared with previous research using direct comparisons. Implications for legal and research practice are discussed. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
LEGAL professions, MEMORY, WITNESSES, METACOGNITION, QUESTIONNAIRES
in
Applied Cognitive Psychology
volume
29
issue
3
pages
392 - 406
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • wos:000354130600008
  • scopus:84929031734
ISSN
0888-4080
DOI
10.1002/acp.3117
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
de2aa2dc-1932-4379-84ed-61f885a26842 (old id 5434667)
date added to LUP
2015-05-29 09:21:48
date last changed
2017-01-01 03:31:14
@article{de2aa2dc-1932-4379-84ed-61f885a26842,
  abstract     = {Legal professionals' opinions about the memory abilities of child and adult witnesses are important in the legal process. We surveyed 266 legal professionals (Swedish police, prosecutors, and attorneys) and 33 lay judges about their beliefs about child and adult eyewitnesses' recall and metacognitive abilities. Prior research has usually asked for direct comparisons of children and adults but this may be rare in forensic practice. The respondents completed a story questionnaire (about a 9- or 45-year-old person witnessing an event), allowing indirect, or researcher-made, comparisons. In contrast to previous research (direct comparisons), our participants mostly rated children and adults to be on an equal level, but within-group consensus was low. Also, fairly few differences emerged between the groups' beliefs. Finally, the participants' opinions in our study were less in line with results from eyewitness research, compared with previous research using direct comparisons. Implications for legal and research practice are discussed.},
  author       = {Knutsson, Jens and Allwood, Carl Martin},
  issn         = {0888-4080},
  keyword      = {LEGAL professions,MEMORY,WITNESSES,METACOGNITION,QUESTIONNAIRES},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {392--406},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {Applied Cognitive Psychology},
  title        = {Swedish legal professionals' opinions on child or adult witness memory-reporting capabilities: using the method of indirect comparisons},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acp.3117},
  volume       = {29},
  year         = {2015},
}