Journal of Child and Family Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 297–306 | Cite as

Do Schacter’s Seven Sins of Memory Apply to Ratings of Children’s Emotional and Behavioral Functioning?

  • Kimberly Renk
  • Reesa Donnelly
  • Cliff McKinney
  • Elizabeth Baksh
Original Paper


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.


Memory 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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kimberly Renk
    • 1
  • Reesa Donnelly
    • 2
  • Cliff McKinney
    • 2
  • Elizabeth Baksh
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA
  2. 2.University of Central FloridaOrlandoUSA

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