Children's suggestion-induced omission errors are not caused by memory erasure

Henry Otgaar, Ewout H. Meijer, Timo Giesbrecht, Tom Smeets, Ingrid Candel, Harald Merckelbach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


We explored whether children's suggestion-induced omission errors are caused by memory erasure. Seventy-five children were instructed to remove three pieces of clothing from a puppet. Next, they were confronted with evidence falsely suggesting that one of the items had not been removed. During two subsequent interviews separated by one week, children had to report which pieces of clothing they had removed. Children who during both interviews failed to report that they had removed the pertinent item (i.e., omission error; n=24) completed a choice reaction time task. In this task, they were presented with different clothing items. For each item, children had to indicate whether or not they had removed it. Significantly more errors were made for those removed items that children failed to report than for those they had not removed. This indicates that children's suggestion-based omission errors are not due to erasure of memories.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-269
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


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