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True and false memories in middle childhood: the relationship with cognitive functioning

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This study was designed to investigate developmental changes in true and false memories and to detect links among them in middle childhood. Participants were 372 Italian children (from 6 to 11 years, 174 males) divided into two age groups. After hearing a story, children provided a free-recall and their true and false retrieved information was measured. Then children were repeatedly asked some true and misleading questions about the story and their cued-recall and interrogative suggestibility were measured. Finally, children again recalled the story to assess the post-event misinformation effect of the suggested information. Individual differences in fluid intelligence, working memory and executive functions were also assessed to investigate their relationships with true and false memories. Typical age effects were found in memory recall and interrogative suggestibility. Interesting links among true, spontaneous and suggested false memories were found. Finally, analyses did not reveal the existence of a relationship between suggestibility and cognitive functioning.
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Keywords: Children’s memory; executive functions; intelligence; interrogative suggestibility; post-event misinformation effect

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Psychology, Milano-Bicocca University, Milano, Italy

Publication date: May 27, 2016

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