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The effect of odour reinstatement on children’s episodic memory

Journal article
Authors Emma Roos Af Hjelmsäter
Sara Landström
Maria Larsson
Pär-Anders Granhag
Published in Psychology, Crime and Law
Volume 21
Issue 5
Pages 471-481
ISSN 1068-316X
Publication year 2015
Published at Department of Psychology
Pages 471-481
Language en
Keywords children’s memory; interviewing children; odour; context reinstatement
Subject categories Applied Psychology


Children’s memory reports are often sparse, which increases the need for efficient interview methods. The present study investigated whether odour reinstatement can aid children’s memory and increase the amount of information recalled from an experienced event. Children (N 106, mean age 10 years, 8 months) experienced a magic show where a vanilla odour was present and were interviewed about their memory of the event either one week, or six months, after the magic show. During the interview, half of the children re experienced the same vanilla odour. In contrast to studies on adult participants, no odour reinstatement effect was found with the child participants in the present study. On the other hand, odour reinstatement reduced the children’s ratings of how strong their emotions were during the event. Thus, odour reinstatement may affect different forensically relevant factors, and this should be considered in future research.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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