Tim Brunson DCH

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Effects of information type on children's interrogative suggestibility: is Theory of Mind Involved?



This research was aimed at learning more about the different psychological mechanisms underlying children's suggestibility to leading questions, on the one hand, and children's suggestibility to negative feedback, on the other, by distinguishing between interview questions concerning different types of information. Results showed that, unlike the developmental pattern of children's suggestibility to leading questions, the developmental pattern of children's suggestibility to negative feedback differed depending on whether the interview questions concerned external facts (physical states and events) or internal facts (mental states and events). This difference was not manifested in response to questions concerning central versus peripheral facts. Results are interpreted in terms of the hypothesis that children's suggestibility to negative feedback is differently affected by "Theory-of-Mind" abilities than children's suggestibility to leading questions. Further research is needed in order to test this hypothesis.

Cogn Process. 2009 Aug;10(3):199-207. Epub 2009 Jul 1. H├╝nefeldt T, Rossi-Arnaud C, Furia A. Department of Psychology, University of Rome La Sapienza, Via dei Marsi 78, 00185, Rome, Italy. thomas.huenefeldt@uniroma1.it

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