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SHOULD CHILDREN BE ALLOWED TO TESTIFY IN COURT Over the past ten years more research has been done involving childrens testimony than that of all the prior decades combined Ceci Bruck 93 have cited four reasons for this The opinion of psychology experts is increasingly being accepted by courts as testimony Social research is more commonly being applied to the issues of childrens rights More research into adult suggestibility in accordance with reason naturally leads to more research into child suggestibility Children are more commonly being used as witnesses in cases where they are directly involved ie sexual abuses cases requiring the development of better ways for dealing with them as special cases Some psychologists deem children to be Highly resistant to suggestion as unlikely to lie and as reliable as adult witnesses about acts perpetrated on their bodies Ceci Bruck 1993 However children are also described as Having difficulty distinguishing reality from fantasy as being susceptible to coaching by powerful authority figures and therefore as being potentially less reliable than adults Ceci Bruck 1993 The suggestibility of child witnesses the effects of participation on childrens reports and the effects of postevent information on a prior memory representation must be taken into account when it comes to seeking answers to the reliability of their testimony especially because sexual abuse and sexual assault cases are a big part of childrens testimony and they are often the only witness Those psychologists who feel that children can be rated as Highly resistant to suggestion etc seem to have a good argument whereas those who take the opposite view also seem to have just as valid an argument Which psychologists are right Maybe both It seems that without outside influences social encounters or other interferences childrens testimony has the potential to be quite valid
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