We thank our child participants; Nicholas Theodosakis for assistance in stimulus construction; Heather Burns, Sally Lewis, and Mayra Perez for assistance in data collection; and Bobbie Spellman and Anne Eisbach for helpful comments on a previous version.
Metamemory Development: Understanding the Role of Similarity in False Memories
Article first published online: 15 MAY 2009
© 2009, Copyright the Author(s). Journal Compilation © 2009, Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 80, Issue 3, pages 629–635, May/June 2009
How to Cite
Jaswal, V. K. and Dodson, C. S. (2009), Metamemory Development: Understanding the Role of Similarity in False Memories. Child Development, 80: 629–635. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01286.x
- Issue published online: 15 MAY 2009
- Article first published online: 15 MAY 2009
Research on the development of metamemory has focused primarily on children’s understanding of the variables that influence how likely a person is to remember something. But metamemory also involves an understanding of why people occasionally misremember things. In this study, 5- and 6-year-olds (N = 38) were asked to decide whether another child’s mistakes in a memory game were due to false memories or guesses. Some of the fictitious child’s mistakes were similar to material he had seen earlier and some were not. Six-year-olds, but not 5-year-olds, consistently attributed more similar than dissimilar mistakes to false memories. Understanding the link between similarity and false memories improves significantly between 5 and 6 years of age.