Children (N = 240) aged 5 to 8 participated in 1 or 4 activity sessions involving interactive tasks (e.g., completing a puzzle); children with single-event participation served as a control group. One week after their last/only session, all children were practised in episodic recall of unrelated experiences by asking about either 1) a single-experience event, 2) a specific instance of a repeated event, or 3) scripted recall of a series of events. Children were subsequently interviewed in an open-ended, non-suggestive manner about one of the activity sessions; children with repeated experience were permitted to nominate the session they wanted to talk about. For children who participated 4 times, practice recalling a specific instance benefited 5- and 6-year old children most; they reported more target details than other conditions and showed awareness of the repeated nature of the activity sessions. Accuracy levels were maintained regardless of practice type. Children with single-event experience were largely unaffected by manipulation of practice condition. Practical implications for interviews with child victim/witnesses and theoretical implications on children’s ability to recall specific incidents of repeated events are discussed.
Brubacher, S., Roberts, K.P., & Powell, M.B. (2011). The Effects of practicing episodic versus scripted recall on children's subsequent narratives of a repeated event. Psychology, Public Policy, & Law, 17, 286-314. Doi: 10.1037/a0022793