False reports of childhood events in appropriate interviews

James Ost, S. Foster, Alan Costall, Ray Bull

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Abstract

The present study employed the “parental misinformation & CloseCurly ” paradigm to examine whether individuals report false events from their childhood even when they are interviewed in an appropriate manner by a trained interviewer. Each participant was interviewed on three occasions. By the final interview, one participant produced a “full & Close Curly ” report, and six participants produced “partial & Close Curly ” reports, of childhood events that did not occur. Although participants reported perceiving greater pressure to report the false events than the real events, independent judges' ratings of social pressure in the interviews did not differ as a function of what type of event participants were being asked about. Participants also reported higher confidence in their parents', compared to their own, recall of events from their childhood. False reports were also positively correlated with scores on both the full and the revised versions of the Dissociative Experiences Scale, and negatively correlated with score on the Self-Monitoring scale. These results indicate that, despite being interviewed in an appropriate manner by a trained interviewer, some participants will falsely report events from their childhoods.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)700-710
Number of pages11
JournalMemory
Volume13
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005

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