Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Kim Roberts

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


Source-monitoring abilities are crucial skills for children’s social and cognitive development, thus, source-monitoring training (SMT) has the potential to benefit children in many practical settings. While some previous research reported that older (7- to 8-years-old) but not younger children (3- to 4-year-olds) benefitted from SMT (Poole & Lindsay, 2002), other studies have found training effects with younger children (Thierry & Spence, 2002; 2004). The current study examined younger and older children's source monitoring trainability by comparing the two different training used in these previous studies: training to a criterion versus a set amount of training. 158 children (aged 3-4 and 7-8) participated in a two-session study. Session one involved watching a DVD and real life demonstration about the body, and a second provided SMT (4-7 days later) about frogs followed by an interview about the previous human body events. Results illustrated that younger and children benefitted from criterion and set SMT, and that training was transferrable to other question types that were not trained. Some benefits of SMT were found for older children, however only for those who were trained to a predetermined criterion. Overall, younger children were found to be less accurate for source information than older children, demonstrating that the ability to monitor source develops gradually over time. However, when children received particularly difficult questions older children in the criterion group, and not younger, more often reported that events occurred in ‘real life,’ suggesting that older children may rely on biased reasoning when making difficult source distinctions rather than guessing.

Convocation Year


Included in

Psychology Commons