Children make for better eye witnesses, accurately recount crime

Updated: Sep 12, 2011, 09:07 AM IST

London: Children who witness crimes are better at accurately recounting them than adults, a study says.

This has been borne out in a study by psychologist Gunilla Fredin at Lund University in Sweden, on children aged between eight and nine, between 11 and 12 and adults.

"Older children and adults have had more experiences and can therefore find it difficult to differentiate between reality and fiction," says Fredin, according to a Lund statement.

"Adults, however, are conscious that they may get things mixed up, while children in the 11-12 age group are often very certain, even when they are wrong."

In Sweden, there has not been any previous research on children and identity parades, but the general perception has been that young children are not particularly reliable, explains Fredin.

Another finding in Fredin`s thesis is that we pay more attention to people of the same age as us.

Adults are generally better at recognising adult faces than children are, but one of Fredin`s studies showed that they did no better than children when asked to identify children`s faces.

Fredin will defend her thesis on Sep 16 at Lund University.

IANS