Jurors' Reactions to Child Witnesses

Gail S. Goodman, Jonathan M. Golding, Marshall M. Haith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Adults often do not know when to believe children. There are few places where this uncertainty is more consequential than in a court of law where jurors may be forced to base their verdict largely on the testimony of children. Legal and cultural stereotypes undermine children's credibility as witnesses by portraying them as basically honest but highly manipulable, unable to differentiate fantasy from reality, and lacking in cognitive sophistication. In this article, we review juror, witness, and courtroom factors that influence a child's credibility. We also present the results of our own studies on reactions to child witnesses. 1984 The Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-156
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Social Issues
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (all)


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