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Script knowledge enhances the development of children's false memories

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Abstract

We examined whether script knowledge contributes to the development of children's false memories. Sixty 7-year-old and 60 11-year-old children listened to false narratives describing either a high-knowledge event (i.e., fingers being caught in a mousetrap) or a low-knowledge event (i.e., receiving a rectal enema) that were similar in terms of plausibility and pleasantness. Moreover, half of the children in each condition received additional suggestive details about the false events. Across two interviews, children had to report everything they remembered about the events. Script knowledge affected children's false memories in that both younger and older children developed more false memories for the high-knowledge event than for the low-knowledge event. Moreover, at the first interview, additional suggestive details inhibited the development of children's images into false memories.

    Research areas

  • AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL EVENTS, BELIEF, CHILDHOOD MEMORIES, Children, DISTINCTIVENESS, EVENT PLAUSIBILITY, EXPERIENCE, False memories, INFORMATION, PHOTOGRAPHS, PREVALENCE, SUGGESTIBILITY, Script knowledge
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Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-63
Number of pages7
JournalActa Psychologica
Volume133
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010