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ERIC Number: ED352618
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Dec-19
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Causal Relations and Their Effects on the Comprehension of Narrative Texts.
Slater, Wayne H.
A study examined three variables derived from earlier research on comprehension and recall of narrative text: time in short-term memory; causal connections allowed; and referential connections allowed. Subjects, 84 randomly selected fourth graders in three suburban public elementary schools, read 8 short texts that each contained 4 embedded goals, and then orally recalled as much as they could remember from each text. Subjects' free recall was audiotaped, transcribed, and analyzed. Results indicated that: (1) causal chain status and number of causal relations were related to the memorability of a text; (2) readers retained the endmost proposition(s) from the causal chain in short-term memory as they read; (3) both the number of processing cycles that a proposition remains in short-term memory and the number of connections it forms to other propositions influenced its memorability; and (4) causal connections contributed to the coherence of a narrative text. Findings add support to the claim that short-term memory is a bottleneck in the comprehension process, and that the goal of narrative comprehension is to discover a sequence of causal links that connect a text's opening to its final outcome. (Two tables of data are included; 24 references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A