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Department of Psychology


Preschool and school-age children’s memory and source monitoring were investigated by questioning them about one occurrence of a repeated lab event (n = 39). Each of the four occurrences had the same structure, but with varying alternatives for the specific activities and items presented. Variable details had a different alternative each time; hi/lo details presented the identical alternative three times and changed once. New details were present in one occurrence only and thus had no alternatives. Children more often confused variable, lo, and new details across occurrences than hi details. The 4- to 5-year-oldchildren were less accurate than 7- to 8-year-old children at attributing details to the correct occurrence when specifically asked. Younger children rarely recalled new details spontaneously, whereas 50% of the older children did and were above chance at attributing them to their correct occurrence. Results are discussed with reference to script theory, fuzzy-trace theory and the source-monitoring framework.