New study recommends legal recommendations for dealing with false memories in court

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Although kids are known for their active imaginations, research shows that children are actually less likely than adults to create false memories. In a new study, the authors reinforce this research in order to detail new policy recommendations.

Researchers Henry Otgaar, Mark L. Howe, Peter Muris and Harald Merckelbach call for to better determine whether a memory is true or false in both children and adults by:

  • ensuring interviews follow scientifically-established protocols
  • asking open-ended questions
  • looking for elements supporting and not supporting the scenario

"Children play a critical role in many , particularly those in which their testimonies are one of the (or the) only pieces of evidence, such as sexual abuse cases," said authors Otgaar et al. "In order to better support these children, legal professionals must best understand the accuracy of all testimonies."

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More information: Henry Otgaar et al, Dealing With False Memories in Children and Adults: Recommendations for the Legal Arena, Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1177/2372732218818584
Provided by SAGE Publications
Citation: New study recommends legal recommendations for dealing with false memories in court (2019, May 24) retrieved 22 July 2019 from
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