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Difficulty among young children in remembering bystanders: young children's omission errors in eyewitness memory for a real-life event

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The present study investigated how well five- and six-year-olds and adults can remember peripheral information such as bystanders from a live event in which a number of people appeared. The participants watched a live amusement show event performed by a group of four people: two main performers and two bystanders. Approximately one month after seeing the event, the participants were questioned about what the show was like and given a recognition/recall test and facial identification test regarding the bystanders. Results showed that half of the children failed to recognize the presence of bystanders who were not centrally involved in the event, while all of the adults could recognize the presence of bystanders. These results are discussed from the aspect of young children's omission errors related to the failure to encode peripheral information.
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Keywords: eyewitness memory; omission error; young children

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology,Fukuoka University of Education, Akama,Munakata City, Japan

Publication date: 2011-05-01

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