What Is Suggestibility?
Suggestibility occurs when post-event information influences the encoding, storage, retrieval, and/or reporting of one's memory. Suggestibility can occur before or after a forensic interview (by exposure to misinformation by peers or adults) or during the forensic interview (suggestive or leading questions, casting the suspect in a negative light). Children generally become less suggestible as they grow older, but there is no upper age limit. All people, including adults, are susceptible to suggestibility to some degree.
A good forensic interview addresses suggestibility in several ways: (1) it discourages the use of suggestive questions and techniques, (2) it leverages evidence-based questioning strategies that promote accuracy, and (3) it explores alternative explanations for allegations.