ERIC Number: ED189605
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-May
Reference Count: 0
The Effect of Narrative Analogies on the Acquisition of Passages Describing Scientific Mechanisms.
Smith, Donald A.; And Others
To discover if narrative analogies of scientific mechanisms would help readers to comprehend passages describing those mechanisms, four such passages were extracted from an encyclopedia. These original passages were written in expository style and constituted the expository condition. For the narrative condition, simple narrative analogies of these passages were written that incorporated most of the components, attributes, relationships, and processes of the scientific mechanisms. Each subject read passages in four different conditions: (1) the narrative-expository condition, in which the narrative analogy was presented first followed by the corresponding expository passage; (2) the expository-narrative condition, in which the order of presentation was reversed; (3) the narrative analogy presented alone; and (4) the expository passage presented alone. After reading the passages on a particular scientific mechanism, the subjects each took a comprehension test containing 15 forced-choice questions divided into wording, statement, and inference test item categories. The results showed that the presentation of narrative analogies did facilitate the acquisition of the scientific mechanism passages, although the facilitation was modest. An unexpected finding was that, regardless of the condition, subjects were unable to make inferences about the information they read. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association (Honolulu, HI, May 5-9, 1980).