ERIC Number: ED192290
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Sep
Reference Count: 0
The Development of Knowledge Structures. Research Paper No. 557.
Martin, Joanne; And Others
A study was conducted to examine the process of the development of knowledge structures concerning events. Specifically, it investigated (1) the ways in which individuals build theories about events as they experience them; (2) the number of events an individual must experience, and how similar those events must be, before he or she begins to generalize about them; and (3) how the content of an event knowledge structure changes as it becomes based on increasing amounts of experience. Eighty-nine graduate students were given descriptions of events to read. The number of events (one, two, three, or four) contained in the stories and the level of their similarity were manipulated. The subjects were asked to write "what happened" in the stories they had read and these responses were then content analyzed. The results showed that subjects exposed to only one event tended to write episodic scripts, with concrete details about the event. Subjects exposed to two or three similar events wrote somewhat more abstract scripts, and those exposed to four similar events wrote the most abstract scripts. Less evidence of generalization was present when subjects read two, three, or four dissimilar events. The findings suggested that the content of inductive theories changes as those theories become based on increasing amounts of supporting evidence. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Univ., CA. Graduate School of Business.
Identifiers: Schema Theory