If witnesses are asked to judge whether they had actually said a word, or had imagined saying it, psychological studies show that 6-year-olds have more difficulty discriminating between these two possible sources of their memories than do 9-year-olds and adults. The reason offered for the greater difficulty younger children have in distinguishing between memories of their self-generated fantasies and memories of their actual behaviors (so-called realization judgments) is that the cues involved in differentiating between actual versus imagined events are not well developed before late childhood.
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