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The stability and generalizability of young children's suggestibility over a 44-month interval

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We discuss a 44-month longitudinal study of the stability of the two-factor Norwegian Book Suggestibility Scale for Children (BSSC; Melinder, Scullin, Gunnerød, & Nyborg, 2005) in a sample of 7-year-old children (MTime 2 age=94 months). Several measures of suggestibility were assessed: yielding to suggestive questions (Yield), shifting answers in response to negative feedback (Shift), the sum of Yield and Shift (Total Suggestibility), and suggestibility in response to open-ended and misleading direct and tag questions about an event experienced 44 months earlier. Results showed a moderate correlation for Total Suggestibility scores over time in spite of marked declines in Yield and Shift. Both Yield and Total Suggestibility were related to children's tendency to respond affirmatively to misleading tag questions about the past event. The two-factor model of suggestibility showed some weakening over time with a positive correlation developing between Yield and Shift.
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Keywords: Suggestibility; child witnesses; generalizability; memory

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of Oslo, Norway 2: University of Texas at El Paso, USA

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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