ERIC Number: ED199668
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1980-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Event Schemas, Story Schemas, and Story Grammars. Technical Report No. 197.
Brewer, William F.; Lichtenstein, Edward H.
An experiment was carried out to examine individual story schemata and a story theory. The theory proposed relating structural characteristics of narratives to the reader's affective response and the reader's intuitions about what constitutes a story. Two levels of narrative structure are distinguished by the theory: the chronological sequence of events (event structure), and the order in which events are presented in the narrative (discourse structure). In the experiment, 103 college students read different versions/organizations of the same event structures, rated them for suspense and surprise at four points in the passages, and made judgments about the extent to which the narratives were stories. As predicted by the theory, (1) different discourse arrangements of the same event structures produced different patterns of affective response; and (2) discourse structures that produced suspense and resolution, or surprise and resolution, were judged to be stories, whereas narratives that did not show these affective patterns were not judged to be stories. The results were interpreted as suggesting a reinterpretation of the story grammar literature. (Author/RL)
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.