Inhibiting children's memory an interactive event: the effectiveness of a cover-up

S Williams, DB Wright, NH Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Children are generally more susceptible than adults to suggestive interview techniques. Children's memories of an event can be altered and added to by presenting post-event information (PEI). What is not known is whether embedding silence about a particular scene within the PEI makes that scene less likely to be reported. Children aged 5-6 years made cakes with an agent Mrs Flour. The following day they received PEI in which a target scene from the original event was omitted, resulting in children reporting the target scene significantly less often than did controls (control= 57% and omit= 23% correct responses). There was direct evidence from the children's language that the omission led to a detriment in memory for the original scene itself. Allowing children to draw during the interview did not reduce the effect. Implications are discussed in terms of child victims and witnesses particularly regarding child sexual abuse.
Translated title of the contributionInhibiting children's memory an interactive event: the effectiveness of a cover-up
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651 - 664
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Volume16 (6)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2002

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Wiley

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