ERIC Number: EJ897989
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Processing and Memory of Information Presented in Narrative or Expository Texts
Wolfe, Michael B. W.; Woodwyk, Joshua M.
British Journal of Educational Psychology, v80 n3 p341-362 Sep 2010
Background: Previous research suggests that narrative and expository texts differ in the extent to which they prompt students to integrate to-be-learned content with relevant prior knowledge during comprehension. Aims: We expand on previous research by examining on-line processing and representation in memory of to-be-learned content that is embedded in narrative or expository texts. We are particularly interested in how differences in the use of relevant prior knowledge leads to differences in terms of levels of discourse representation (textbase vs. situation model). Samples: A total of 61 university undergraduates in Expt 1, and 160 in Expt 2. Methods: In Expt 1, subjects thought out loud while comprehending circulatory system content embedded in a narrative or expository text, followed by free recall of text content. In Expt 2, subjects read silently and completed a sentence recognition task to assess memory. Results: In Expt 1, subjects made more associations to prior knowledge while reading the expository text, and recalled more content. Content recall was also correlated with amount of relevant prior knowledge for subjects who read the expository text but not the narrative text. In Expt 2, subjects reading the expository text (compared to the narrative text) had a weaker textbase representation of the to-be-learned content, but a marginally stronger situation model. Conclusions: Results suggest that in terms of to-be-learned content, expository texts trigger students to utilize relevant prior knowledge more than narrative texts.
Descriptors: Reading Comprehension, Prior Learning, Anatomy, Human Body, Expository Writing, Undergraduate Students, Recall (Psychology), Correlation, Psychoeducational Methods, Learning Processes, Learning Strategies
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
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