ERIC Number: ED214147
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Causal Cohesion and Story Coherence.
Trabasso, Tom; And Others
Based on the theory that a story's coherence depends directly on the causal cohesiveness of the story's individual events, this paper describes (1) a process by which readers use causal reasoning to connect events, (2) what memory representations result from this reasoning, and (3) the implications of test data on causal reasoning. Following a definition of causality, including the features deemed necessary for judging the existence of a causal relation between two events, a general model for comprehension and inferences of relation between events is sketched. The application of this analysis to stories is then illustrated on a set of data used by N. Stein and C. Glenn in their 1979 study of children's comprehension and recall. The data show striking linear relations between degree of recall and the percentage of story events in the causal chain, thereby supporting the argument that memorability of a story depends upon causal cohesion among events. (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Causal Inferences; Schemata; Story Grammar; Text Structure; Textual Analysis
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New York, NY, March 19-23, 1982). Also funded by the Benton Foundation.