Social anxiety moderates memory conformity in adolescents



When two people view the same event and later try to remember it together, what one person says affects what the other person reports. A model is presented which predicts that this memory conformity effect will be moderated, in different ways, by two components of social anxiety. People with higher fear of negative evaluation should be more influenced by their peers than others, but those with higher social anxiety related to avoiding social situations may be less influenced by their peers than others. Pairs of adolescent-aged participants took part in a face recognition study. For each trial one person responded and then the next person responded. The effect of what the first person said on the second person's response was measured; the size of the effect was moderated by the social anxiety measures as predicted by the model. This is the first study showing the relationship between social anxiety and memory suggestibility. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.