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date: 25 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter reviews the ways in which children's sometimes limited imaginative abilities hampers their performance as witnesses in court. Children's resistance to unpleasant hypotheticals undermines their apparent understanding of the truth and lies. Their difficulty with recognizing referential ambiguity leads them to sound incoherent or incomprehensible. Better understanding of children's developmental limitations, improved questioning, and objections to developmentally insensitive questions could improve children's performance.

Keywords: hypothetical reasoning, referential ambiguity, the child witness

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