Explain this: explaining childhood events inflates confidence for those events



To examine whether explaining hypothetical childhood events makes people more confident that the events really happened, we used a method similar to the imagination inflation procedure devised by Garry, Manning, Loftus, and Sherman (1996). First, participants rated how confident they were that a list of events occurred in their childhood. Two weeks later, participants explained how four of the eight target events could have happened to them before the age of 10. Finally, participants made confidence ratings about the list of childhood events for a second time. Participants were more confident that the explained hypothetical childhood events really did happen compared to events they did not explain. We discuss both theoretical and practical implications of these results. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.