University of Hertfordshire

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By the same authors


  • 907089

    Accepted author manuscript, 111 KB, PDF document

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-273
JournalJournal of Nonverbal Behavior
Early online date25 Feb 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2015


An interviewer’s gestures can convey misleading information and subsequently cause inaccuracies in the reporting of an event by both adults and children. We investigated the robustness of the gestural misinformation effect, examining the extent to which an interviewer’s gestures mislead children under conditions that would normally buffer them against verbal suggestibility (strength of memory trace, age, and verbal ability). Children (a younger sample aged 2–4 years, n = 30; and an older sample aged 7–9 years, n = 26) were exposed to a videotaped event and questioned immediately, having been allocated randomly to either an accurate gesture condition (gestures consistent with observed events, e.g., “What was the lady wearing?” plus a ‘hat’ gesture) or a misleading gesture condition (“What was the lady wearing?” plus a ‘gloves’ gesture). Children were susceptible to the gestural misinformation effect even when questioned immediately after witnessing the event, regardless of age and verbal ability. These findings reveal new insights into the robustness of the gestural misinformation effect in children’s eyewitness interviews.


This is an Accepted Manuscript. The final publication is available at Springer via

ID: 2652423