Quantcast

Effects of information type on children's interrogative suggestibility: is Theory-of-Mind involved?

Research paper by Thomas T Hünefeldt, Clelia C Rossi-Arnaud, Augusta A Furia

Indexed on: 02 Jul '09Published on: 02 Jul '09Published in: Cognitive Processing



Abstract

This research was aimed at learning more about the different psychological mechanisms underlying children's suggestibility to leading questions, on the one hand, and children's suggestibility to negative feedback, on the other, by distinguishing between interview questions concerning different types of information. Results showed that, unlike the developmental pattern of children's suggestibility to leading questions, the developmental pattern of children's suggestibility to negative feedback differed depending on whether the interview questions concerned external facts (physical states and events) or internal facts (mental states and events). This difference was not manifested in response to questions concerning central versus peripheral facts. Results are interpreted in terms of the hypothesis that children's suggestibility to negative feedback is differently affected by "Theory-of-Mind" abilities than children's suggestibility to leading questions. Further research is needed in order to test this hypothesis.