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Researchers surprised to find abused children less suggestible

30 January 2017

New study suggests that maltreated children are less prone to false memories based on suggestion.

A hugely controversial topic in psychology concerns how likely it is that some or many claims of abuse made by children are actually based false memories, possibly implanted through the suggestions of therapists or leading questions from investigators.

A related issue is whether going through the terrible experience of being mistreated makes it more or less likely that a child will be prone to forming false memories based on the suggestions or leading questions of others.

However, a small but important new study from Maastricht University, in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology, reports that while a group of maltreated children were more prone to spontaneous false memories than control participants they were, in fact, less prone to false memories based on suggestions.

Read more on our Research Digest blog.



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