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Are children's memory illusions created differently from those of adults? Evidence from levels-of-processing and divided attention paradigms

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>09/2010
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Issue number1
Volume107
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)31-49
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

In two experiments, we investigated the robustness and automaticity of adults' and children's generation of false memories by using a levels-of-processing paradigm (Experiment 1) and a divided attention paradigm (Experiment 2). The first experiment revealed that when information was encoded at a shallow level, true recognition rates decreased for all ages. For false recognition, when information was encoded on a shallow level, we found a different pattern for young children compared with that for older children and adults. False recognition rates were related to the overall amount of correctly remembered information for 7-year-olds, whereas no such association was found for the other age groups. In the second experiment, divided attention decreased true recognition for all ages. In contrast, children's (7- and 11-year-olds) false recognition rates were again dependent on the overall amount of correctly remembered information, whereas adults' false recognition was left unaffected. Overall, children's false recognition rates changed when levels of processing or divided attention was manipulated in comparison with adults. Together, these results suggest that there may be both quantitative and qualitative changes in false memory rates with age. (C) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.