File(s) under permanent embargo
The effect of an intervening interview on children's ability to remember one occurrence of a repeated event
journal contributionposted on 01.09.1997, 00:00 authored by Martine Powell, Don ThomsonDon Thomson
The effect of an intervening interview on 4-5- and 6-8-year-old children's ability to remember an occurrence of a repeated event at six-weeks' delay was examined. The timing of the interpolated interview and the final test were also systematically examined. Children experienced six occurrences of an event which were highly similar; each occurrence had the same underlying structure but included unpredictable variations in the specific exemplars of items or 'instantiations' across the series. All children were required to recall the instantiation of each item that was included in the final occurrence in the series. The results indicated that inclusion of a one-week interpolated interview enhanced the number of correct instantiations that could be recalled about the occurrence in a six-week interview compared to when there was no interpolated interview. However, the effect of the interpolated interview on subsequent recall was reduced when the second interview was extended to three months. In fact, the decline in performance of children who were interviewed at a one-week delay and again at a three-month delay was such that these children received no more benefit from the initial interview than children who received their first interview at a six-week delay. Interestingly, the performance of the latter children improved rather than declined in the second interview. The implications of the findings for children's eyewitness testimony are discussed.