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ERIC Number: ED166651
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Individual Differences in Schema Utilization during Discourse Processing. Technical Report No. 111.
Spiro, Rand J.; Tirre, William C.
One hundred twelve college students participated in a study designed to determine whether students differ in their relative employment of knowledge-based processes in discourse processing and whether individuals tend to be more "text-bound" and less able to use preexisting knowledge schemata when they are more "stimulus-bound" in a task with analogous processing demands (i.e., an embedded figures test or EFT). Subjects were randomly assigned to read either a narrative about a trip to a restaurant or a parallel narrative about a trip to a supermarket; they then took the EFT and a vocabulary test, after which they recalled the passage they had read. Previous research had shown that, since the "foods purchased" component of the restaurant schema is more highly constrained than that of the supermarket schema, the former supports greater food item recall. Analysis of the results showed that high and low EFT scorers (with variability attributable to difference in verbal ability statistically removed) recalled food items equally well from the supermarket passage but that for the restaurant passage, food item recall increased radically compared to the supermarket passage only for the higher EFT scorers. It was concluded that the low EFT scorers were unable to capitalize on their prior knowledge to increase their recall of information from text. (GT)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Illinois Univ., Urbana. Center for the Study of Reading.; Bolt, Beranek and Newman, Inc., Cambridge, MA.