e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

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The Role of Feedback Types on False Memory in Children and Adolescents

R. Khairudin, N. M. Taib, J. A. Polko and R. Nasir

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 21, Issue S, December 2013

Keywords: False memory, retrospective memory, feedback, child witness

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Despite the large number of studies published in the area of false memory, not many have looked into the malleability of a witness’s confidence levels in relation to the susceptibility of false memories to feedback. This experiment aimed to examine the effects of post-identification feedback on witness confidence levels and retrospective memory evaluations in children aged 8 years old (N=30) and adolescents aged between18 to 19 years old (N=60). Each participant is asked to watch a crime scene video reconstruction of a theft. They are, then, asked to identify the suspect. Participants are given either positive, negative, or no feedback after the suspect identification. Results show that there are significant effects from feedback on the participants’ levels of confidence and retrospective memory evaluations. The age factor also has a significant effect on participants’ recall of the clarity of detail of a suspect’s face and their attention while viewing the video. There is also a significant interaction between the factors of feedback and age. Children are influenced by both types of feedback, positive and negative. While the levels of confidence and retrospective memory evaluations of adolescents are influenced only by positive feedback. This experiment demonstrates that post-identification feedback influences witnesses’ confidence levels and evaluations of an event. Therefore, it is essential to ensure that appropriate precautions are taken during the examination of witnesses, especially child witnesses.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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