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Development of false memories in bilingual children and adults

Howe, M. L., Gagnon, N. & Thouas, L. (2008). Development of false memories in bilingual children and adults. Journal of Memory and Language, 58(3), pp. 669-681. doi: 10.1016/j.jml.2007.09.001


The effects of within- versus between-languages (English–French) study and test on rates of bilingual children’s and adults’ true and false memories were examined. Children aged 6 through 12 and university-aged adults participated in a standard Deese–Roediger–McDermott false memory task using free recall and recognition. Recall results showed that: (1) both true and false memories increased with age, (2) true recall was higher in within- than between-languages conditions for all ages, and (3) there were fewer false memories in between-languages conditions than within-language conditions for the youngest children, no differences for the 8 and 12 years old, and by adulthood, there were more false memories in between-languages than within-language conditions. Recognition results showed that regardless of age, false recognition rates tended to be higher in between-languages than within-language conditions. These findings are discussed in the context of models of false memory development.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Journal of Memory and Language. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Journal of Memory and Language, Volume 58, Issue 3, April 2008, Pages 669–681,
Publisher Keywords: DRM paradigm, False memories, Bilingual memory, Memory development, Children’s false memory
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
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