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Visual distinctiveness and the development of children's false memories

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2008
<mark>Journal</mark>Child Development
Issue number1
Volume79
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)65-79
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Distinctiveness effects in children's (5-, 7-, and 11-year-olds) false memory illusions were examined using visual materials. In Experiment 1, developmental trends (increasing false memories with age) were obtained using Deese-Roediger-McDermott lists presented as words and color photographs but not line drawings. In Experiment 2, when items were photographed with heterogeneous colored backgrounds, developmental trends were eliminated relative to words and homogeneous backgrounds. Experiments 3 and 4 examined whether the conceptual nature of the background mattered and presented items in neutral (color only), theme-congruent, or theme-incongruent contexts. The results showed that the nature of the context did not matter, only whether the backgrounds were homogeneous or heterogeneous. Apparently, children use distinctive perceptual, but not conceptual, features to attenuate false memory illusions.