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Remembering what never occurred? Children’s false memories for repeated experiences

Review article
Authors Bruna Calado
Henry Otgaar
Timothy Luke
Sara Landström
Published in In-Mind
Volume 5
Issue 37
ISSN 1877-5306
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Psychology
Language en
Links www.in-mind.org/article/remembering...
Keywords false memories; repeated events; implantation paradigm; children; McMartin preschool
Subject categories Applied Psychology

Abstract

Research has demonstrated that children can be as consistent as adults when it comes to their capacity of producing reliable statements. However, their testimonies can sometimes be riddled with falsities caused by unintentional errors made by practitioners when conducting interviews. These mistakes, such as providing information that was not divulged by the interviewee and coercing them to respond to a question in a specific way, might compromise the quality of the statement. This can induce the interviewee to form memories of non-experienced events (i.e. false memories). Lab studies have shown that people can create rich and compelling false memories, even for highly negative events. In legal cases, these events are sometimes remembered as a repeated experience. How can this be? Can people create false memories of events that they believe happened to them numerous times? This article aims to clarify how easily such false memories can be formed. Specifically, we will focus on events that allegedly happened repeatedly, focusing on the formation of children’s false memories.

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