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Effects of Forewarnings on Children’s and Adults’ Spontaneous False Memories

Schopen, K., Otgaar, H., Howe, M. L. ORCID: 0000-0002-5747-5571 and Muris, P. (2021). Effects of Forewarnings on Children’s and Adults’ Spontaneous False Memories. European Journal of Developmental Psychology,


The current experiment examined the effect of forewarning on children’s (11 to 12 years of age) and adults’ spontaneous false memory creation by presenting participants with semantically related word lists that are often used to elicit false memories (i.e., DeeseRoediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm). The forewarning consisted of an explanation of the false memory effect and a demonstration of a DRM word list and an associated recognition task. It was hypothesized that children would have fewer false memories than adults using the DRM paradigm and that forewarning would reduce the number of critical lures remembered by children and adults. We found a developmental reversal effect in that children had lower false memory levels than adults and that forewarning reduced, but did not eliminate, false memory propensity in both children and adults. Our findings further indicated that forewarning was more effective in reducing false memory levels in 11- to 12-year-old children than in adults. Finally, analyses revealed that participants were more accurate when they received a forewarning as compared to when they did not.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article to be published by Taylor & Francis in European Journal of Developmental Psychology, to be available online:
Publisher Keywords: False memory; Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm; forewarning; children; adults
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Psychology
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2021 15:22
[img] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible due to copyright restrictions.



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