Mehrani, M.B., & Peterson, C. (2015). Recency tendency: Responses to forced-choice questions. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 29, 418-424. doi: 10.1002/acp.3119

The present study was conducted to investigate whether forced-choice questions would lead to any particular tendency in young children’s responses. Two experiments were conducted in which 3- to 5-year old children were shown a short animation and then were asked a set of two-option, forced-choice questions. Consistent findings were obtained: 1) Forced-choice questions influenced children’s responses; 2) Children displayed a consistent “recency tendency.” That is, they tended to choose the second option in forced-choice questions; 3) This tendency grew weaker as children aged. The findings suggest that forced-choice questions carry some suggestibility load and can bias children’s responses