Detecting deception in children: event familiarity affects criterion-based content analysis ratings.

J Appl Psychol 2004 Feb;89(1):119-26

Department of Psychology, School of Behavioral and Organizational Sciences, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA 91711-3955, USA.

Statement Validity Assessment (SVA) is a comprehensive credibility assessment system, with the Criterion-Based Content Analysis (CBCA) as a core component. Worldwide, the CBCA is reported to be the most widely used veracity assessment instrument. We tested and confirmed the hypothesis that CBCA scores are affected by event familiarity; descriptions of familiar events are more likely to be judged true than are descriptions of unfamiliar events. CBCA scores were applied to transcripts of 114 children who recalled a routine medical procedure (control) or a traumatic medical procedure that they had experienced one time (relatively unfamiliar) or multiple times (relatively familiar). CBCA scores were higher for children in the relatively familiar than the relatively unfamiliar condition, and CBCA scores were significantly correlated with age. Results raise serious questions regarding the forensic suitability of the CBCA for assessing the veracity of children's accounts.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.89.1.119DOI Listing
February 2004
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