Peer discussion affects children's memory reports

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Abstract

This study explored the memory conformity effect in children. Younger (6–7 years; n = 60) and older (11–12 years; n = 62) children watched a video individually (individual witness condition) or in dyads (co-witness condition). The dyads believed that they were viewing the same video as the other member of the pair while in fact the saw different versions. Next, children in the individual witness condition answered questions, whereas children in the co-witness condition discussed the event on the video with each other. Finally, all children completed an individual free and cued recall task. In the co-witness condition, more than 60% of the children recalled at least one detail from the alternative video, whereas over 23% of the children in the individual witness condition reported such a detail. Moreover, in free recall—but not in cued recall—the memory conformity effect was stronger for older than for younger children. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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