External and internal sources of variation in the creation of false reports in children

Maggie Bruck, Stephen J. Ceci, Laura Melnyk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


In this article, we describe several "families" of variables that may account for reliable variation in children's suggestibility. Specifically, we begin by discussing factors that are external to the organism (e.g., various forms of biased interviewing such as visualization inductions, accusatory tone, repeated yes/no questioning) that could explain why at any age studied, large suggestibility effects are produced in some situations but not in others. Following this, we discuss research on factors that are internal to the organism that may be at the source of individual differences in suggestibility-proneness (e.g., IQ, memory strength, relevant content knowledge). We conclude by postulating a framework in which multiple and complex interactions among cognitive, social, personality, and biological factors converge to make some children and some situations more or less suggestible than others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)289-316
Number of pages28
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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