‘What colour is your pet dinosaur?’ The impact of pre-interview training and question type on children's answers
Article first published online: 16 DEC 2010
1999 The British Psychological Society
Legal and Criminological Psychology
Volume 4, Issue 1, pages 111–128, February 1999
How to Cite
Gee, S., Gregory, M. and Pipe, M.-E. (1999), ‘What colour is your pet dinosaur?’ The impact of pre-interview training and question type on children's answers. Legal and Criminological Psychology, 4: 111–128. doi: 10.1348/135532599167716
- Issue published online: 16 DEC 2010
- Article first published online: 16 DEC 2010
- Cited By
Purpose. Two studies evaluated the effects of question type and of brief pre-interview training, involving instructions and practice, on the number of correct answers and errors given by children in a structured interview.
Methods. A total of 157 children aged from nine to 13 were interviewed about a visit to a science centre with both misleading and non-misleading open and closed questions. The children also rated their confidence in each of their answers. Half the children received pre-interview training designed to discourage compliance and guessing.
Results. In Study 1 pre-interview training decreased commission errors to misleading questions, but also decreased the number of correct responses to non-misleading questions. In Study 2 a revised training package decreased errors for misleading questions without impacting on correct responses.
Conclusions. Brief pre-interview interventions can reduce children's compliance with misleading questions in experimental situations. Both studies provided some support for the cognitive processing hypothesis that the confidence-accuracy relationship will be stronger for open than for closed questions.