ERIC Number: ED237970
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Discourse Type on Recall by Young, Middle, and Old Adults with High and Average Vocabulary Scores.
Meyer, Bonnie J. F.; Rice, G. Elizabeth
Discourse can be organized in many different ways, two of these being comparison and a collection of descriptions. These two discourse types correspond to schemata that vary in their organizational components, and these differences can be expected to produce differences in the processing of text. For example, research has shown that for young adults of high verbal ability, the more organized discourse type--comparison--yields better recall of information than does the less organized type--collection--for descriptions of a topic. A study was conducted to explore the view that the learning of information from discourse can be enhanced by matching its organization to the learner's prevalent learning strategy. The subjects, 40 young, 38 middle aged, and 40 old adults, completed a demographic survey, health questionnaire, survey of reading habits, and the Quick Word Test. Scores on the word test indicated that approximately half the subjects in each age group were high verbal and half were average verbal. Subjects read especially constructed passages with different discourse structures and responded to recall questions. Results showed that the comparison structure yielded superior recall for all age groups. No interaction was found, however, among discourse type, age, and verbal ability. (Passages used in the study are included in the text.) (FL)
Descriptors: Age Differences, Cognitive Style, Comparative Analysis, Descriptive Writing, Discourse Modes, Expository Writing, Learning Strategies, Listening Skills, Memory, Middle Aged Adults, Older Adults, Reading Comprehension, Reading Materials, Reading Research, Recall (Psychology), Verbal Ability, Vocabulary Skills, Young Adults
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Mental Health (DHHS), Rockville, MD.; National Inst. on Aging (DHHS/NIH), Bethesda, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (33rd, Austin, TX, November 29-December 3, 1983). Figure 1 may not reproduce well due to small print.