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ERIC Number: EJ793397
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-May
Pages: 40
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 221
ISSN: ISSN-0033-2909
Developmental Reversals in False Memory: A Review of Data and Theory
Brainerd, C. J.; Reyna V. F.; Ceci, S. J.
Psychological Bulletin, v134 n3 p343-382 May 2008
Can susceptibility to false memory and suggestion increase dramatically with age? The authors review the theoretical and empirical literatures on this counterintuitive possibility. Until recently, the well-documented pattern was that susceptibility to memory distortion had been found to decline between early childhood and young adulthood. That pattern is the centerpiece of much expert testimony in legal cases involving child witnesses and victims. During the past 5 years, however, several experiments have been published that test fuzzy-trace theory's prediction that some of the most powerful forms of false memory in adults will be greatly attenuated in children. Those experiments show that in some common domains of experience, in which false memories are rooted in meaning connections among events, age increases in false memory are the rule and are sometimes accompanied by net declines in the accuracy of memory. As these experiments are strongly theory-driven, they have established that developmental improvements in the formation of meaning connections are necessary and sufficient to produce age increases in false memory. (Contains 3 footnotes, 3 tables, and 7 figures.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A