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Child Suggestibility

There are a plethora of factor that must be taken into account when it comes to the effect of co-witness credibility and other individual differences on child suggestibility. Even after years of research psychologists have admitted to the fact that they are far from being done and have also accepted that there is plenty of room for more research on this topic. There are several demographic, psychological, social, and cognitive factors that directly impact child suggestibility. Each area has been studied comprehensively but it has also been found that there is complex interaction that is consistently taking place between these various components that affects child suggestibility.

After conducting a series of experiments psychologists’ have found that older children are less suggestible than younger children. It has also been found that children with theory of mind were hardly as suggestible as children without theory of mind. Theory of mind and executive function are closely related and impact each other. Executive function is the acts as the lynchpin for the manifestation of the theory of mind.

Loftus conducted a series of experiments and concluded that children reported events that never occurred, all these reported events were drawn from their experiences; these events were suggested events and never witnessed. Loftus also closely examined suggestibility effects and found that children who were given misleading information were successfully manipulated and the same also affected their memory, on the other hand children who saw proper signs managed to deliver accurate information and were not misled in anyway.

The interviewee-interviewer relationship has been found to be crucial, this could directly impact the outcome. The principle of co-operativity also comes into play here, according to this principle the speakers’ utterances are considered to be true by the listener. When authoritative figures like police officers interview witnesses they completely agree to the fact that police officers are co-operative and speak only the truth, the same could significantly impact suggestibility. It has also been found that children who are interviewed in an authoritative and professional atmosphere gave much different answers to what they gave in a relaxed atmosphere; this yet again outlines the interviewer and the interviewee relationship. It is fair to conclude that child suggestibility could significantly differ from case to case, there are several social and cognitive factors that could directly impact child suggestibility and such important factors must always be considered.