Theory of mind, inhibitory control, and preschool-age children's suggestibility in different interviewing contexts.

Research paper by Matthew H MH Scullin, Karri K Bonner

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


The current study examined the relations among 3- to 5-year-olds' theory of mind, inhibitory control, and three measures of suggestibility: yielding to suggestive questions (yield), shifting answers in response to negative feedback (shift), and accuracy in response to misleading questions during a pressured interview about a live event. Theory of mind aided in the prediction of suggestibility about the live event, and inhibitory control was a moderator variable affecting the consistency of children's sensitivity to social pressure across situations. The findings indicate that theory of mind and inhibitory control predict children's suggestibility about a live event above and beyond yield, shift, and age and that the construct validity of shift may improve as children's inhibitory control develops.