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J Appl Behav Anal. 2011 Fall;44(3):587-92. doi: 10.1901/jaba.2011.44-587.

Effects of interviewer behavior on accuracy of children's responses.

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  • 1Florida Institute of Technology, School of Psychology, Melbourne, Florida 32901, USA. sparlinj@fit.edu


Previous research has shown that certain interviewer behaviors can evoke inaccurate answers by children. In the current study, we examined the effects of approving and disapproving statements on the accuracy of 3 children's answers to questions in an interview (Experiment 1). We then evaluated 3 questioning techniques that may be used by interviewers during a forensic interview in which a child provides eyewitness testimony (Experiment 2). All participants responded with more inaccurate answers when approving statements followed inaccurate information and disapproving statements followed accurate information in Experiment 1. During Experiment 2, 1 participant responded most inaccurately when she was requestioned after providing an initial answer, whereas the remaining 2 participants responded most inaccurately when the interviewer provided cowitness information and suggestive questions.


accuracy of children's responses; eyewitness testimony; forensic interviews; interviewer behavior

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