Suggestibility In Young Children: The Role of Conversational Ability

Courtney Buchanan (2010). Suggestibility In Young Children: The Role of Conversational Ability Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Courtney Buchanan
Thesis Title Suggestibility In Young Children: The Role of Conversational Ability
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Newcombe, Peter A.
Total pages 75
Abstract/Summary The current study assessed the relationship between conversational ability and children’s acceptance of post-event misleading information. Twenty-five children (Mage=64.20 months, SD= 4.23 months) participated in this three-phase study, developed to align with Loftus’ (1975) original suggestibility paradigm. In Phase 1 (Day 1), the children were read a storybook and then in Phase 2 (that afternoon), were introduced to misleading information through a post-event questionnaire. In the third phase of the study (Day 7), children were assessed on their ability to accurately recall information from the storybook. In addition, children completed a conversational maxim task to determine their overall conversational ability. The conversational maxim task assessed children’s ability to detect violations of the four Gricean conversational maxims: quality, quantity, manner, and relation. Age was found to significantly correlate with conversational ability, r=.52, p=.009. However, conversational ability was not found to relate to overall levels of suggestibility. This study has important implications for understanding the language conditions under which children may be able to provide reliable testimonies within current legal settings.

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Created: Tue, 05 Apr 2011, 12:43:34 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Psychology