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Abstract

We examined the effect of photographs on children's memories for events that did and did not happen. Over three interviews, 10-year olds saw three true photos and one false photo. Half the children saw a doctored photo of themselves and other family members in a hot air balloon, while the remaining half saw only the hot air balloon. At each interview, children reported what they could remember about each event, rated their confidence that the events really happened and rated how much they could remember. Children who saw the photo showing themselves in the balloon developed more false memories than those who saw only the balloon, but when children in either condition developed false memories, they were equally confident that the event was real. These data highlight a potential problem with the use of photographs as tools in therapy. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.