The development of metasuggestibility in children
Article first published online: 19 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Applied Cognitive Psychology
Volume 25, Issue 1, pages 146–155, January/February 2011
How to Cite
London, K., Bruck, M., Poole, D. A. and Melnyk, L. (2011), The development of metasuggestibility in children. Appl. Cognit. Psychol., 25: 146–155. doi: 10.1002/acp.1653
- Issue published online: 19 JAN 2010
- Article first published online: 19 JAN 2010
One component of metasuggestibility is the understanding that a person's statements can influence another person's reports. The purpose of the present study was to examine the development of this understanding in school-aged children. We produced a short video in which a boy makes a false allegation about being hit following an adult's suggestive interview. Children aged 6–13 years (N = 196) watched the video and answered open-ended and forced-choice questions about why the boy made a false allegation. The 6- and 7-year-olds performed poorly on all question types, whereas the 12- and 13-year-olds were at ceiling. There were developmental increases in metasuggestibility between 8 and 11 years. Our findings indicate that metasuggestibility undergoes prolonged development well into the school years. Implications for child witness training programs are discussed. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.