ERIC Number: ED217405
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jun
Reference Count: 0
The Effect of Cultural Knowledge on Memory and Language. Technical Report No. 248.
Steffensen, Margaret S.; Colker, Larry
The effect of cultural background knowledge on comprehension and on the language of recall was investigated using an oral presentation. Fifteen Aboriginal women in northern Australia and 15 American women in an adult education class in Illinois were matched in age and educational level. Two stories were read aloud to the subjects, each based on the medical beliefs and practices of one of the cultures. The stories were read in standard English, after which the subjects were asked to retell the story. The Aboriginal subjects were permitted to retell the story in Australian Creole English if they so chose. The subjects who responded in Australian Creole English tended to use a more heavily creolized variety in recalling the Aboriginal text. Findings provide evidence that general cultural knowledge has a profound effect upon recall, and highlight the potential for misunderstanding in cross-cultural encounters due to different assumptions and beliefs, which affect comprehension, inference, and retrieval processes. (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Australian Inst. of Aboriginal Studies, Canberra.; National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.
Identifiers: Australia; United States