ERIC Number: ED174950
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
The Function of Metaphor in Children's Recall of Expository Passages. Technical Report No. 131.
Pearson, P. David; And Others
A series of three experiments with suburban elementary students tested the facilitative effect of metaphors on children's ability to understand and remember what they read. In the first study, sixth grade students read two unfamiliar passages and were able to recall metaphoric structures better than literal paraphrases of the same information. In the second study, third grade subjects read a more familiar passage and exhibited no difference in recalling metaphors and literal descriptions. In the third study, in which third and sixth grade students read familiar and unfamiliar metaphors and literal material, there was a significant passage familiarity by version (metaphor or literal) interaction. Conclusions drawn from the three studies were that (1) children's recall of metaphor is always as good as and often better than their recall of comparable literal paraphrases; (2) when passage material is familiar, metaphors are no more salient than their literal counterparts; (3) whatever metaphor effects exist appear limited to their surface structure boundaries. The possibility exists that metaphors are better recalled than literal passages not because they elicit greater comprehension, but because they are more vivid and novel and, therefore, more memorable. (AEA)
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.