A comparison of the effectiveness of two suggestibility paradigms in predicting preschoolers' tendency to report a non-experienced event

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Abstract

This study compared the effectiveness of two standardized suggestibility paradigms in predicting preschoolers' tendency to report an independent, non-experienced event. Ninety-three children, aged 47 to 64 months, were given a description of a non-experienced event and were subsequently asked to recall that event in response to cued-recall questions. Four weeks later, half the children were administered the Video Suggestibility Scale for Children (VSSC; Scullin & Ceci, 2001), which consists of yes/no questions, whilst the other half were administered a modified version of the VSSC, which consists of misinformation followed by cued-recall questions. The results revealed a positive relationship between errors on both the Standard and Modified VSSC and the number of details reported about the non-experienced event, provided that the child-generated errors were false-new details. No significant relationships were revealed when the errors being measured were interviewer-suggested details. Further, the strength of the relationships did not differ depending on the version of the VSSC adopted. The implications of these findings, and directions for future research, are discussed. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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