A real-life event enhances the accuracy of preschoolers' recall

Authors

  • Karen L. Thierry,

    Corresponding author
    1. National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Section on Social and Emotional Development, Bethesda, MD, USA
    • Section on Social and Emotional Development, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Rockledge One Center, 6705 Rockledge Drive, Suite 8048, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.
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  • Melanie J. Spence

    1. The University of Texas at Dallas, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, Richardson, TX, USA
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Abstract

Children's memory and susceptibility to misinformation about a real-life and video event were examined. Eighty-six three- to four-year-olds and five- to six-year-olds observed an event either in real life or on video. Immediately afterward, they freely recalled the event and answered misleading questions about central and descriptive information. Three- to four-year-olds in the video condition were less likely to accurately recall descriptive information than three- to four-year-olds in the live condition and five- to six-year-olds in either condition. Children in the video condition were less accurate in response to misleading questions than those in the live condition. When video condition three- to four-year-olds in Experiment 2 were asked nonmisleading questions that prompted them for descriptive information, they recalled descriptors less accurately than those in the live condition. These results have particularly important implications for studies that utilize video events when investigating children's eyewitness memory. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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