Humans, Robots, or Avatars? Which do children and young people prefer disclosing forensic information to?

Sam Conway*, Julie Gawrylowicz, Robin J. S. Sloan, Andrea Szymkowiak

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to conferencePoster

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Abstract

Virtual characters (VCs), such as agents and avatars, are becoming increasingly common across professional fields including medicine and education. However, research into their application as child forensic interviewers is limited. VCs would allow disclosure recipients to become tailored to individual preferences. Such technologies may generate new interviewing tools that are attractive to children who are reluctant to disclose information. The aim of this survey was to gage children’s preferred disclosure recipient characteristics (i.e., age, gender, presentation mode) when revealing forensic information. This study was a Qualtrics online survey, recruiting children aged between 8 and 16. All participants read fictional witness and victim scenarios perpetrated by either a “stranger” or “family member”. For each scenario, participants stated their preferred disclosure recipients’ characteristics, and whether these recipients should appear as human or non-human VCs. Preliminary findings suggest children prefer disclosing forensic information to adult gender-matching humans. Males felt better about disclosing crimes than females, and participants under 12 felt best about disclosing crimes. Children preferred disclosing to adult humans congruent with their own gender more than VCs. However, in practice, gender-matched interviewers might not always be available. The benefits of gender-congruent VCs will be explored in future work.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2022
EventInternational Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iiiRG) Annual Conference 2022 - University of Winchester, Winchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 22 Jun 202224 Jun 2022
Conference number: 13th
https://iiirg.org/winchester-2022/

Conference

ConferenceInternational Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iiiRG) Annual Conference 2022
Abbreviated titleiiiRG 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityWinchester
Period22/06/2224/06/22
Internet address

Keywords

  • Avatar
  • Disclosure
  • Children and young people
  • Forensic interviewing

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