Applied Cognitive Psychology

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Volume 33 Issue 2 (March 2019), Pages 149-322

Children's recall and source monitoring of a repeated event using a timeline as an interview aid (pages 176-187)

Summary Investigators sometimes use timelines (visual depictions of time) to help children identify temporal information from experienced events or details from a particular instance of a repeated event. However, little is actually known about the efficacy of this visual aid on children's memories. Six‐ to 9‐year‐olds participated in four occurrences of a repeated event and were later interviewed with or without the use of a timeline. Children in the timeline condition were less accurate and made more source‐monitoring errors than those in the control condition. For items that appeared consistently throughout the events, a suggestibility effect was more evident for older children who used the timeline than those who did not. Overall, there was no clear evidence in support of the visual aid. Despite its popularity, our findings suggest that timelines should be further examined to establish whether, and under what circumstances, they might be used in investigative contexts.

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