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Carole Peterson

B.Sc. Washington, Ph.D. Minnesota

University Research Professor

Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada

Office: SN3100
Phone: (709) 864-7682
3050 Course Notes:
Affiliations: Developmental, Cognition


Research Interests


Carole Peterson



Currently, research interests focus on memory and language. I and other members of my lab have been studying children’s eyewitness memory for salient events and how it is affected by the way they are interviewed. Most recently, we have been investigating the use of a relatively new technique, the Narrative Elaboration procedure. An important problem for researchers to address is how to get children to provide more information in open-ended recall, which has been shown to be the most accurate as well as least vulnerable to interviewer suggestion or influence. As well, how can one optimally interview children who are motivated to lie or hide information? We are investigating these issues. In addition, we are studying childhood amnesia, or children’s and adults’ ability to recall the earliest years of their lives. We are exploring factors that affect one’s age at the time of these early memories, how many memories one can retrieve, and characteristics of the memories.


Peterson, C., Fowler, T., & Brandeau, K.M. (in press). Earliest Memories and Recent Memories of Highly Salient Events – Are They Similar? Journal of Cognition and Development.  [Abstract] [PDF]

Tani, F., Peterson, C., & Smorti, A. (2014). Empathy and autobiographical memory – Are they linked? Journal of Genetic Psychology, 175:3, 252-269. doi: 10.1080/00221325.2013.869534. [Abstract] [PDF]

Wang, Q., & Peterson, C. (2014). Your Earliest Memory May be Earlier Than You Think: Prospective Studies of Children’s Dating of Earliest Childhood Memories. Developmental Psychology, 50, 1680-1686. doi: 10.1037/a0036001 [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., Morris, G., Baker-Ward, L., & Flynn, S. (2013). Predicting Which Childhood Memories Persist: Contributions of Memory Characteristics. Developmental Psychology, 50, 439-448. doi: 10.1037/a0033221 [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., Warren, K.L., & Hayes, A.H. (2013). Revisiting narrative elaboration training with an ecologically relevant event. Journal of Cognition and Development, 14, 154-174. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., & Noel, M. (2012). 'I was just screeching!': Comparing child and parent derived measures of distress. Stress and Health, 28, 279-288. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C. (2012). Children's autobiographical memories across the years: Forensic implications of childhood amnesia and eyewitness memory for stressful events. Developmental Review, 32, 287-306.  [Abstract] [PDF]

McCabe, A., & Peterson, C. (2012). Predictors of Adult Narrative Elaboration: Emotion, Attachment, and Gender.  Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, 31, 327-344. doi: 10.2190/IC.31.4.f  [Abstract] [PDF]

Warren, K.L., Dodd, E., Raynor, G., & Peterson, C. (2012). Detecting children's lies: Comparing true accounts about highly stressful injuries with unprepared, prepared, and coached lies. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 30, 329-341. doi: 10.1002/bsl.1994  [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., Warren, K.L., & Short, M.M. (2011). Infantile amnesia across the years: A 2-year follow-up of children's earliest memories. Child Development, 82, 1092-1105. [Abstract] [PDF] 

Peterson, C. (2011). Children's memory reports over time: Getting both better and worse. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 109, 275-293. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C. (2010). "And I was very very crying": Child self-descriptions of distress as predictors of recall. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24, 909-924. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., Bonechi, A., Smorti, A., & Tani, F. (2010). A distant mirror: Memories of parents and friends across childhood and adolescence. British Journal of Psychology, 101, 601-320. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., & Nguyen, D.T.K. (2010). Parent-child relationship quality and infantile amnesia in adults. British Journal of Psychology, 101, 719-737. [Abstract] [PDF]

Tani, F., Bonechi, A., Peterson, C., & Smorti, A. (2010). Parental influences on memories of parents and friends. Journal of Genetic Psychology, 171(4), 300-329. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., Warren, K., Nguyen, D.T., & Noel, M. (2010). Infantile amnesia and gender: Does the way we measure it matter? Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences, 9, 1767-1771. [Abstract] [PDF]

Wang, Q., Peterson, C., & Hou, Y. (2010). Children dating childhood memories. Memory, 18, 754-762. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., Noel, M., Kippenhuck, L., Harmundal, L. & Vincent, C.D. (2009). Early memories of children and adults: Implications for infantile amnesia. Cognitive Sciences, 4(2), 65-90. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., Wang, Q., & Hou, Y. (2009). "When I was little": Childhood recollections in Chinese and European grade-school children. Child Development, 80, 506-518. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., & Warren, L.K. (2009). Injuries, emergency rooms, and children's memory: Factors contributing to individual differences. In J. Quas & R. Fivush (Eds.), Emotion and memory in development: Biological, cognitive, and social considerations (pp. 60-85). Oxford University Press. Included in the Oxford Series in Affective Science, K. Scherer & R. Davidson (Series Eds.). [PDF]

Peterson, C., Smorti, A., & Tani, F. (2008). Parental influences on earliest memories. Memory, 16, 569-578. [Abstract] [PDF]

Noel, M., Peterson, C., & Jesso, B. (2008). The relationship of parenting stress and child temperament to language development among economically disadvantaged preschoolers. Journal of Child Language, 35, 823-843. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., Sales, J.M., Rees, M., & Fivush, R (2007). Parent-child talk and children's memory for stressful events. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 21, 1057-1075. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C. (2007). Reliability of child witnesses: A decade of research. The Canadian journal of Police & Security Services, 5, 142-151. [Abstract] [PDF]

McCabe, A., Peterson, C., & Connors, D.M. (2006). Attachment security and narrative elaboration. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 30, 8-19. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., Pardy, L., Tizzard-Drover, T., & Warren, K. (2005). When initial interviews are delayed a year: Effect on children's 2-year recall. Law & Human Behavior, 29, 527-541. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C. and Parsons, B. (2005). Interviewing former 1- and 2-year-olds about medical emergencies five years later. Law and Human Behavior, 29, 743-754. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., Grant, V. V., & Boland, L. D. (2005). Childhood amnesia in children and adolescents: Their earliest memories. Memory, 13, 622-637. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C. (2004). Mothers, fathers, and gender: Parental narratives about children. Narrative Inquiry, 14, 323-346. [Abstract] [PDF]

Tizzard-Drover, T., & Peterson, C. (2004). The influence of an early interview on long-term recall: A comparative analysis. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 18, 727-745. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., Parsons, T., & Dean, M. (2004). Providing misleading and reinstatement information a year after it happened: Effects on long-term memory. Memory, 12, 1-13. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., & McCabe, A. (2004). Echoing our parents: Parental influences on children’s narration. In M.W. Pratt & B.E. Fiese (Eds.), Family stories and the lifecourse: Across time and generations (pp. 27-54). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum. [PDF]

Sales, J.M., Fivush, R., & Peterson, C. (2003). Parental reminiscing about positive and negative events. Journal of Cognition and Development, 4, 185-211. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C. & Roberts, C. (2003). Like mother, like daughter: Similarities in narrative style. Developmental Psychology, 39, 551-562. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C. (2002). Children’s long-term memory for autobiographical events. Developmental Review, 22, 370-402. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., Ross, A., & Tucker, V.C. (2002). Hospital emergency rooms and children’s health care attitudes. Journal of Pediatric Psychology, 27, 281-291. [Abstract]

Fivush, R., Peterson, C., & Schwarzmueller, A. (2002). Questions and answers: The credibility of child witnesses in the context of specific questioning techniques. In M.L. Eisen, J.A. Quas, & G.S. Goodman (Eds.), Memory and suggestibility in the forensic interview (pp. 331-354). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Peterson, C., & Biggs, M. (2001). ‘I was really, really, really mad!’: Children’s use of evaluative devices in narratives about emotional events. Sex Roles, 45, 801-826. [Abstract]

Peterson, C., & Whalen, N. (2001). Five years later: Children’s memory for medical emergencies. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 15, 7-24. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., Moores, L., & White, G. (2001). Recounting the same events again and again: Children’s consistency across multiple interviews. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 15, 353-371. [Abstract] [PDF]

Peterson, C., & Grant, M. (2001). Forced-choice: Are forensic interviewers asking the right questions? Canadian Journal of Behavioural Science, 33, 118-127. [Abstract] [PDF]