Child witnesses’ metamemory realism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study investigated the degree of realism in the confidence judgments of 11 to 12-year-olds (41 girls and 40 boys) of their answers to questions relating to a short film clip showing a kidnapping event. Four different confidence scales were used: a numeric scale, a picture scale, a line scale and a written scale. The results demonstrated that the children showed a high level of overconfidence in their memories. However, no significant differences between the four confidence scales were found. Weak gender differences were found in that the girls were slightly, but significantly, better calibrated than the boys. In addition, although both boys and girls overestimated the total number of memory questions they had answered correctly, the boys gave higher estimates compared with the girls. In brief, the results indicate that, at least in the context investigated, 11-12 year-old children's confidence in and estimations of their own event memory show poor realism (overconfidence and overestimation). A comparison with previous research on adults indicates that 11 to 12-year-old children show noticeably poorer realism.


  • Carl Martin Allwood
  • Pär Anders Granhag
  • Anna-Carin Jonsson
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Psychology


  • confidence, realism, 11 to 12-year-olds, metacognition, Eyewitness memory
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-470
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Publication categoryResearch