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Cognitive skills, individual differences, and nonverbal interview methods in children’s eyewitness recall

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/03/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Cognitive Psychology
Issue number2
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)166-182
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date29/11/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This study investigated the interaction between internal characteristics and external prompts (drawing and dramatisation) in children’s eyewitness recall. Eighty-one 3- to 6- year old children witnessed a live event involving an altercation between two actors in their schools. They were asked to tell what happened (Verbal condition), draw what happened while talking about it (Drawing condition), or show and tell by using gestures and mime (Dramatisation condition), one day, two weeks, and approximately six months after the event. Independent measures of temperament, mood, symbolic skills, and language ability were taken. Children in the Drawing condition reported significantly more details about objects than children in the Verbal condition after a two-week delay. Symbolic skills and shyness affected children’s recall. Our findings suggest that considering young children’s cognitive skills and temperamental traits may help facilitate their eyewitness recall.