Anatomically detailed dolls' influence on the accuracy of 3-year-old children's reports of a routine medical exam was assessed. During the exam, half of the children received a genital examination and half did not. Immediately after the exam, the children were asked to demonstrate various events on an anatomically correct doll and on their own bodies. In 2 studies, children's accuracy in reporting certain events was the same in the doll condition and in the body condition. Children were inaccurate in reporting genital touching, regardless of how they were questioned and regardless of whether they had received a genital examination. The dolls increased inaccurate reporting because some children falsely showed that the doctor had inserted a finger into the anal or genital cavity. The results indicate that anatomically detailed dolls should not be used in forensic or therapeutic interviews with 3-year-old children.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology