Enhancing children's event recall after long delays
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The effects of context reinstatement as means of enhancing 5- and 6-year-old children's event memory in repeated interviews after a 6-month delay were examined. Children were interviewed immediately after the event (baseline interview) and twice at a 6-month delay, with 24 hours between interviews. The first 6-month interview was conducted in a perfect-context reinstatement (n = 15), imperfect-context reinstatement (n = 16), or no-context reinstatement (n = 15) condition. The second 6-month interview was conducted 24 hours later with no-context reinstatement for all children. Context reinstatement attenuated the effects of delay on recall. The accuracy of the details reported was greater in the perfect-context compared to the imperfect-context and no-context conditions. Details repeated between the immediate-baseline interview and in the first 6-month interview were more accurate than details repeated between the first and second 6-month interview. There was no increase in recall (hypermnesia) across the first and second 6-month interviews in any condition. Practical implications of these findings are discussed.