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ERIC Number: EJ895102
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Dec
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0022-0965
False Rumors and True Belief: Memory Processes Underlying Children's Errant Reports of Rumored Events
Principe, Gabrielle F.; Haines, Brooke; Adkins, Amber; Guiliano, Stephanie
Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, v107 n4 p407-422 Dec 2010
Previous research has shown that overhearing an errant rumor--either from an adult or from peers--about an earlier experience can lead children to make detailed false reports. This study investigates the extent to which such accounts are driven by changes in children's memory representations or merely social demands that encourage the reporting of rumored information. This was accomplished by (a) using a warning manipulation that eliminated social pressures to report an earlier heard rumor and (b) examining the qualitative characteristics of children's false narratives of a rumored-but-nonexperienced event. Findings indicated that overheard rumors can induce sensory and contextual characteristics in memory that can lead children to develop genuine false beliefs in seeing rumored-but-nonexperienced occurrences. Such constructive tendencies were especially likely among 3- and 4-year-olds (relative to 5- and 6-year-olds) and when rumors were picked up from peers during natural social interactions (relative to when they were planted by an adult). (Contains 5 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A