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4. Let’s not exaggerate the suggestibility of children.
Court Review (2001)
  • Thomas D. Lyon, University of Southern California
I’m grateful to Dr. Martindale for introducing the reader to an important and lively debate among practitioners and academics over the relevance of recent research on children’s suggestibility. In my Cornell Law Review article, I argued that the recent research on suggestibility was inspired by highly coercive interviewing techniques in widely publicized cases that are not the norm in child sexual abuse investigations. These techniques include telling children that they have been abused, telling children that a particular person is the abuser, and asking children to imagine details regarding how abuse could have taken place. Moreover, I argued that the research fails to mirror factors in real-world sexual-abuse cases that reduce the likelihood that false allegations will occur. These factors include the age of the child, children’s reluctance to accuse loved ones of immoral acts, and children’s embarrassment regarding sexual topics.
  • exaggerate,
  • suggestibility of children,
  • child witness,
  • child abuse,
  • child neglect
Publication Date
September, 2001
Citation Information
Lyon, T. D. (2001, Fall). Let’s not exaggerate the suggestibility of children. Court Review, 38, 12-14.