Do Schacter’s Seven Sins of Memory Apply to Ratings of Children’s Emotional and Behavioral Functioning?
- 114 Downloads
Schacter (2001) proposes that there are seven memory malfunctions that occur in everyday life and that affect individuals’ ability to recall occurrences in their lives. Given that these sins affect other areas of memory, it is likely that they may affect the ratings that informants provide when they are recalling characteristics of the emotional and behavioral functioning of children and adolescents. This manuscript explores evidence to support this supposition by reviewing relevant studies that fit the description of Schacter’s (2001) seven sins (i.e., transience, absent-mindedness, blocking, misattribution, suggestibility, bias, and persistence). Generally, this manuscript suggests that mental health professionals should be aware of the influence that these seven sins of memory may have on ratings that informants provided regarding the functioning of children and adolescents.
KeywordsMemory Child functioning Informant ratings
Special thanks to Dr. Schacter for getting us thinking about and debating this idea following a colloquium given at the University of Central Florida. Also, thanks to Erica L. Cain, who provided comments on a section of this manuscript.
- Bartles, M., Hudziak, J. J., Boomsma, D. I., Rietveld, M. J. H., van Beijsterveldt, T. C. E. M., & van den Oord, E. J. C. G. (2003). A study of parent ratings of internalizing and externalizing problem behavior in 12-year-old twins. Journal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 42,1351–1359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fiske, S. T., & Taylor, S. E. (1984). Social cognition. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
- Grietens, H., Onghena, P., Prinzie, P., Gadeyne, E., Van Assche, V., Ghesquiere, P., & Hellinckx, W. (2004). Comparison of mothers,’ fathers,’ and teachers’ reports on problem behavior in 5- to 6-year old children. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 26,137–146.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Gudjonsson, G. H. (1992). The psychology of interrogations, confessions and testimony. New York: John Wiley.Google Scholar
- Najman, J. M., Williams, G. M., Nikles, J., Spence, S., Bor, W., O’Callaghan, M., Le Brocque, R., & Andersen, M. J. (2000). Mothers’ mental illness and child behavior problems: Cause-effect association or observation bias? Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 39,592–602.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Neale, M. C., & Cardon, L. R. (1992). Methodology for genetic studies of twins and families. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic.Google Scholar
- Ross, L. (1977). The intuitive psychologist and his shortcomings: Distortions in the attribution process. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 10). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Schacter, D. L. (2001). The seven sins of memory. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co.Google Scholar