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The effect of suggestion on children's recognition memory for seen and unseen details

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The present study examined the effect of three different types of suggestion on children's recognition memory. Younger (7-year-olds; n=38) and older (11-year-olds; n=47) children listened to a class presentation about China. Three days later, they were interviewed using suggestive questions that were divided into three categories: questions suggesting that details were present when in fact they were not (commission errors), questions suggesting that presented details were absent (omission errors), and questions suggesting that details were presented differently (change errors). The following day, children participated in a recognition-memory task that contained items that referred to information suggested during the suggestive interview. Children in both age groups were more likely to erroneously endorse items involving change errors than they were to endorse items involving commission or omission errors.
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Keywords: children; memory; suggestibility

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Faculty of Psychology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands 2: University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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