Suggestibility, social support, and memory for a novel experience in young children.

Research paper by Jodi A JA Quas, Allison R AR Wallin, Silvia S Papini, Heather H Lench, Matthew H MH Scullin

Indexed on: 21 May '05Published on: 21 May '05Published in: Journal of Experimental Child Psychology


This study examined 5- and 6-year-olds' suggestibility and interviewer demeanor as joint predictors of their memory for a novel experience. Session 1 consisted of children taking part in a novel laboratory event. Session 2 took place after approximately a 1-week delay and consisted of children completing both a memory test concerning what happened during the prior event and the Video Suggestibility Scale for Children (VSSC). During the second session, the interviewer behaved either supportively or nonsupportively. Greater acquiescence on the VSSC was associated with fewer correct responses to misleading questions about the laboratory event in the supportive and nonsupportive conditions and with more errors in response to specific questions in the nonsupportive condition. Results indicate that individual differences in children's suggestibility are related to the accuracy of their memory for separate events, although some of these relations may vary depending on the context in which children are interviewed.