Peterson, C., Parsons, T., & Dean, M. (2004). Providing misleading and reinstatement information a year after it happened: Effects on long-term memory.


The question addressed here is whether misleading suggestions made to children a year after target events had occurred will alter long-term recall. One group (3-13 years old when injured and treated in a hospital Emergency Room) were given both misleading and accurate reinstating information a year later, and recall of target events assessed both one week and another year later (i.e., two years post-injury). A control group had recall assessed both one and two years post-injury. Misleading had little effect on children’s recall one week later although a few misled details were reported. However, a year later virtually none of the misleading information was incorporated into long-term recall. Rather, children were more, not less, accurate when recalling details about which they had been misled. Results were attributed to target events having been highly memorable and well-rehearsed via previous recalls, and detection of discrepancies between memory and misleading information focusing attention on targeted details.