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Detection of Deception in Children

The credibility and reliability of children's testimony are particularly important in instances where children are called on as primary witnesses in legal proceedings, such as sexual abuse or child custody cases. Although it is expected for children to provide truthful statements about given events, children may also give false reports in these situations for a variety of reasons, and research suggests that adults are relatively poor at detecting such lies. Consequently, despite younger children's difficulties in concealing their verbal and nonverbal deceptive behaviors effectively, these may not be easily detected by adults. Only with extensive training are adults able to differentiate the verbal statements of a lie or a truth teller at a rate above the chance level. Adults' ability to detect children's lies is ...

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