Age differences in interrogative suggestibility: a comparison between young and older adults



Sixty-six young adults (M age: 22.3, SD=3.3, range 18–35), and 43 older adults (M age: 64.1, SD=9.5, range 49–88) were compared on interrogative suggestibility, as measured by the Gudjonsson Suggestibility Scale. Participants listened to a story and were then asked suggestive questions. Afterwards, they were told that they had made a number of errors, and they were questioned once again. The number of accepted suggestions gives an index called Yield 1, and the number of answers changed after negative feedback gives an index called Shift. Older adults scored higher on Yield, but not on Shift. The participants also completed measures of memory performance (Wechsler Memory Scale), and a self-assessment of memory (Memory Assessment Clinics Self-Rating Scale). Regression analyses showed that memory performance and memory self-assessment were independent predictors of yielding to suggestive questions in the group of older adults, when controlling for the effects of age. No reliable independent predictor was identified in any of the groups for Shift. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.