ERIC Number: ED230898
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Immediate Recognition of Thematically Central and Peripheral Ideas in Prose.
Schultz, E. Eugene, Jr.
The "levels effect," the finding that the more central to the meaning of a passage an idea is the more likely that idea is to be retained, does not seem to hold for immediate recognition. Therefore, a study was conducted to test a model of information storage that predicted that when surface structure information was preserved in its original form subordinate ideas could be recognized as well as superordinate ideas. In the study, auditory presentation was used to reduce surface structure clues. Subjects, 36 native English speaking undergraduates enrolled in an introductory psychology class, were assigned to two treatment conditions. Both heard tape recorded central passages from two stories, but one completed recognition forms immediately and the other first completed a simple recall task for five minutes before filling out the forms. Results showed that retention declined significantly over time and that thematic importance also produced a significant effect on recognition. These results indicate that thematically central ideas must be stored differentially and that when there is an abundance of surface structure information (as in visual presentation), these cues obscure the differences in the availability of superordinate and subordinate ideas. (JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Thematic Stimuli
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Psychological Association (29th, Atlanta, GA, March 23-26, 1983).