ERIC Number: ED371017
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Where in the World Am I? Mental Models Derived from Text and Spatial Inference.
This study examined whether and to what extent the characteristics of mental models derived from the identical text, which is known to produce a certain type of mental model, are influenced if the subjects are given different task expectations before the reading session. Seventy-one undergraduates read one of the two text genres, descriptive or narrative, that were based on the same underlying spatial configuration and later answered three types of inference questions about spatial information. Each group was instructed to anticipate one of the three types of questions: global perspective questions, spatial orientation questions, or order inference questions. Results indicated that readers constructed a two-dimensional mental model when they anticipated global perspective questions, whereas they built a one-dimensional mental model when they expected order inference questions. The results showed similar data patterns obtained in the previous studies (Ohtsuka, 1990, 1993a, 1993b) where three text genres produced different models without any specific instructions. Therefore, the findings suggest that subjects' different task expectations, at least in part, account for the effect of genre type on mental models. Three appendixes give examples of experimental passages, lists of inference questions, and instructions. Included are one table and six figures. (Contains 13 references.) (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Australian Research Council.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Accuracy; Australia; Mental Models; Sequential Analysis; Spatial Analysis; Task Characteristics
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (New Orleans, LA, April 4-8, 1994).