ERIC Number: ED123587
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1975-Sep
Reference Count: 0
Cognitive Structures in Human Story Comprehension and Memory.
Thorndyke, Perry W.
This research examines the effects of structure and content variables on memory and comprehension of prose passages. A process model for the comprehension of stories is proposed which assumes that stories are encoded in a hierarchical organizational framework which represents the abstract structural relationships of the plot. The implications of the model for the quality and characteristics of subjects' memory for stories were tested in a series of experiments using undergraduate college students. The study revealed that: (1) recall of a story was a function of the amount of inherent plot structure in the story; (2) story summarizations from memory tended to emphasize general structural characteristics rather than specific content; (3) structure and content manipulations significantly influenced recall; and (4) false recognition rates for implicit inferences from a story were a function of the plausibility of the inferences and their roles as organizing and integrating devices for other information in the story. (Author/LL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rand Corp., Santa Monica, CA.
Note: Reprint of author's dissertation, Stanford University