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The influence of suggestibility on memory. Commentary on Binet, A. & Henri, V. (1894/2010). Natural suggestibility in children.

In numerous studies carried out on suggestion these past years, most researchers have disposed the conditions of their experiments so as to maximize the effect of suggestion. Our present research on educational psychology aimed to study the effect of suggestion in normal situations. Our experiments were devised to study the various conditions which determine the effects of suggestion, for example pupils' age and the type of mental operations on which suggestion operates. In a first series of tests, three model lines of different lengths were successively presented to children. They then had to find these three lines one after the other among other lines of different lengths displayed on a board. These experiments also consisted of direct comparison and memory tests. Almost all groups of young children on whom we conducted our observations gave uniform responses. Often when one of the children, usually the quickest, indicated a line on the board, the three other children would as a result indicate the same. Nevertheless, we always tried hard to exercise minimal influence on the pupils, by trying not to intimidate them. Furthermore, since we used the same procedure in all classes and schools, the numerical results that we have presented can at least be used relatively to compare pupils to each other and to determine the influence of age on suggestibility. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)