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The Counterintuitive Course of False Memory Development During Childhood

Howe, M. L. ORCID: 0000-0002-5747-5571 & Otgaar, H. (2022). The Counterintuitive Course of False Memory Development During Childhood. In: Courage, M. & Cowan, N. (Eds.), The Development of Memory in Infancy and Childhood. . New York: Psychology Press. doi: 10.4324/9781003016533-15


Over the past couple of centuries of research on the nature of children’s memory abilities, much has been learned about how memory develops across childhood, particularly how accurate memory for events are formed, stored, and subsequently retrieved (e.g., see the compendium of chapters in both volumes of Bauer & Fivush, 2014; Howe, 2015). Considerable scientific evidence also attests to the different variables that influence how accurately children can remember emotional events, including ones that are stressful and traumatic (e.g., Goodman, Goldfarb, Quas, Narr, Milojevich, & Cordon, 2016). Because the knowledge accrued in these areas of the scientific study of children’s memory have been well documented in the recent literature, the focus of this chapter is on the slightly less well documented topic of how children’s memories can be altered or changed as a consequence of implicit and often automatic influences that arise endogenously (internal influences) and exogenously (external influences). As it turns out, these so-¬‐called false or illusory memories can be far less common in children than initially expected. Ironically, research has shown that depending on the source of influence, children can be both less and more susceptible to memory illusions. Before reviewing this literature, we begin with an explanation of what is meant by the term “false memories” and delineate the various sources from which they can arise.

Publication Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter which will be published by Routledge/CRC Press in The Development of Memory in Infancy and Childhood in 2022.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
[thumbnail of Howe-Otgaar Chapter on False Memory Development -- FINAL VERSION.pdf]
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