ERIC Number: ED220803
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
Congruence of Prior Knowledge and Text Information as a Factor in the Reading Comprehension of Middle-Grade Children. Technical Report #16.
Maria, Katherine; MacGinitie, Walter H.
Two studies using the same texts and procedures but different experimental designs (1) evaluated an instrument designed to identify children who overrely on their prior knowledge in the interpretation of written text, and (2) investigated how degree of congruency of information interacts with degree of explicitness and level of staging to affect the comprehension of middle-grade children. The subjects of the first experiment, 164 fifth and sixth graders, read four types of short texts, each of which contained two pieces of target information, one judged congruent with their prior knowledge and one judged incongruent, presented implicitly or explicitly at a different stage of the text. Although the reliability of the scores was low, the results did seem to isolate a group of children that used a nonaccommodating strategy when confronted with incongruent information. Subjects of the second experiment were 145 fourth and seventh graders from the same school who had answered questions without texts previously as a check on the congruency of the target information in the texts. Although this study's finding--that incongruent information was more difficult for both grade levels--cannot be interpreted with confidence, the data were consistent with the hypothesis that incongruent information is more difficult to process as a result of prior knowledge sources conflicting with sources in the text. This finding has implications for judging the difficulty level of texts presented to children. (JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Columbia Univ., New York, NY. Research Inst. for the Study of Learning Disabilities.
Identifiers: Text Factors; Text Structure