From the archive: ‘Individual differences in children's suggestibility: A review and synthesis’ by M. Bruck & L. Melnyk (2004). Applied Cognitive Psychology, 18, 947–996 with commentary


  • Nominated by Martine Powell – Australasian Editor 2001–2009


This paper reviewed research on the association of children's suggestibility with cognitive, psycho-social and demographic variables. It is impressive, both in scope and depth of analysis. The results of more than 500 measures derived from 69 published and unpublished studies were synthesized with several levels of analysis. Discussion focused on potential mechanisms that underlie suggestibility effects, the interactions between variables and how findings differ depending upon the component of suggestibility examined. Bruck and Melnyk concluded that apart from intellectual status, a strong case could not be made for any other variable being critical. Methodological and conceptual limitations were discussed in an effort to establish how these might have contributed to non-significant results and could be addressed in future research.