Assessing trait memory distrust: psychometric properties of the squire subjective memory questionnaire

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose. When people suffer from memory distrust, they evaluate their memory in negative terms. Memory distrust plays an important role in police interrogations because it may underlie false confessions. The Squire Subjective Memory Questionnaire (SSMQ) intends to be a simple measure of trait memory distrust. To our knowledge, no data have been published about the psychometric properties of the SSMQ.

Methods. Relying on five samples (Ns = 70-819) of healthy individuals and patients, we studied the psychometric characteristics of the SSMQ. Participants were recruited at the university, a neuropsychological unit or through advertisements in newspapers. They were asked to complete the SSMQ and several other tests. In this way, reliability and validity parameters could be assessed.

Results. Principle component analysis showed that the SSMQ has a one-dimensional structure referring to subjective memory evaluation. The SSMQ was found to have adequate reliability and good construct validity. Furthermore, it appears to correlate in a theoretically meaningful way with age and cognitive failures.

Conclusions. All together, the SSMQ is a psychometrically sound screening tool that can be helpful in assessing subjective memory evaluations in the legal domain. In this way, vulnerable suspects can be identified in an early stage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-384
Number of pages12
JournalLegal and Criminological Psychology
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2010

Keywords

  • COGNITIVE FAILURES
  • METAMEMORY
  • RETROSPECTIVE MEMORY

Cite this

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title = "Assessing trait memory distrust: psychometric properties of the squire subjective memory questionnaire",
abstract = "Purpose. When people suffer from memory distrust, they evaluate their memory in negative terms. Memory distrust plays an important role in police interrogations because it may underlie false confessions. The Squire Subjective Memory Questionnaire (SSMQ) intends to be a simple measure of trait memory distrust. To our knowledge, no data have been published about the psychometric properties of the SSMQ.Methods. Relying on five samples (Ns = 70-819) of healthy individuals and patients, we studied the psychometric characteristics of the SSMQ. Participants were recruited at the university, a neuropsychological unit or through advertisements in newspapers. They were asked to complete the SSMQ and several other tests. In this way, reliability and validity parameters could be assessed.Results. Principle component analysis showed that the SSMQ has a one-dimensional structure referring to subjective memory evaluation. The SSMQ was found to have adequate reliability and good construct validity. Furthermore, it appears to correlate in a theoretically meaningful way with age and cognitive failures.Conclusions. All together, the SSMQ is a psychometrically sound screening tool that can be helpful in assessing subjective memory evaluations in the legal domain. In this way, vulnerable suspects can be identified in an early stage.",
keywords = "COGNITIVE FAILURES, METAMEMORY, RETROSPECTIVE MEMORY",
author = "{van Bergen}, S. and I. Brands and M. Jelicic and H.L.G.J. Merckelbach",
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Assessing trait memory distrust: psychometric properties of the squire subjective memory questionnaire. / van Bergen, S.; Brands, I.; Jelicic, M.; Merckelbach, H.L.G.J.

In: Legal and Criminological Psychology, Vol. 15, No. 2, 09.2010, p. 373-384.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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AB - Purpose. When people suffer from memory distrust, they evaluate their memory in negative terms. Memory distrust plays an important role in police interrogations because it may underlie false confessions. The Squire Subjective Memory Questionnaire (SSMQ) intends to be a simple measure of trait memory distrust. To our knowledge, no data have been published about the psychometric properties of the SSMQ.Methods. Relying on five samples (Ns = 70-819) of healthy individuals and patients, we studied the psychometric characteristics of the SSMQ. Participants were recruited at the university, a neuropsychological unit or through advertisements in newspapers. They were asked to complete the SSMQ and several other tests. In this way, reliability and validity parameters could be assessed.Results. Principle component analysis showed that the SSMQ has a one-dimensional structure referring to subjective memory evaluation. The SSMQ was found to have adequate reliability and good construct validity. Furthermore, it appears to correlate in a theoretically meaningful way with age and cognitive failures.Conclusions. All together, the SSMQ is a psychometrically sound screening tool that can be helpful in assessing subjective memory evaluations in the legal domain. In this way, vulnerable suspects can be identified in an early stage.

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