Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Program Name/Specialization

Developmental Psychology

Faculty/School

Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Dr. Kim Roberts

Advisor Role

Supervisor

Abstract

Children’s understanding of online content is a topic of interest, yet little is known about how children distinguish distracting and often misleading information (e.g., advertisements) from relevant information. Our aim is to measure the relationship between executive functioning, memory and source monitoring in a population that has heavy internet usage and are also the most at risk for mistakenly recalling false or irrelevant information. Children aged 7-12 years old (N = 30), with no known developmental or cognitive disorders, were recruited for the study. In an online session, the children viewed two novel online media sources (i.e., a website and video) with embedded advertisements. After a delay (2-3 days), the children completed a set of source-monitoring and memory questions and a battery of executive function tasks (Inhibition, Working Memory, Task Switch and Attention). It was expected that online media type would impact the memory recall of online information. In addition, it was also expected that advertisement (in)congruency (i.e., thematic congruency with the media content) might also play a role in the ability to differentiate between sources and provide source judgements.

A difference between memory scores for each theme was detected. Theme 1 had significantly higher memory scores compared to Theme 2. Strong positive correlations were found between source-monitoring scores for the website and video conditions, and between incongruent and congruent source-monitoring scores. The current study furthered our understanding of how children remember online information and differentiate sources and informed future research on misleading online information and source misattribution.

Convocation Year

2022

Convocation Season

Fall

Available for download on Saturday, August 26, 2023

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