The effects of drawing on preschoolers’ statements about experienced and non‐experienced events

Mikaela Magnusson, Emelie Ernberg, Sara Landström, Malin Joleby, Lucy Akehurst, Julia Korkman, Karl Ask

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Although drawing is frequently used during investigative interviews, few studies have explored the effectiveness of draw‐and‐talk techniques with very young children. In this paper, we examined the effects of drawing on preschoolers’ (3‐6 years old) reports of self‐experienced and non‐experienced events. In Study I, we interviewed 83 preschoolers about a staged event. We did not observe any significant statement differences between children asked to draw‐and‐talk compared to a verbal‐only condition. In Study II, we interviewed 25 preschoolers about a non‐experienced event. Twenty‐one children initially denied the event. When asked if they could help the interviewer draw a person from the event, 13 (61.9%) children complied with the request and eventually provided several false details. While drawing did not significantly increase the average number of details, exploratory findings indicated that drawing may have helped a subset of children. However, drawing might impair children’s accuracy when suggestively interviewed about non‐experienced events.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-507
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Early online date10 Dec 2020
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2021


  • drawing
  • child interview
  • children's testimony
  • police interview
  • preschooler


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