News Release 

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


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 legal authorities 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 legal proceedings, 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."


Read the full article, "Dealing with False Memories in Children and Adults: Recommendations for the Legal Arena," from the journal Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, a SAGE Publishing journal from the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences.

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