Presentation on theme: "Comprehension and memory for text Comprehension = understanding of a passage or message Usually comprehension is measured by testing memory for the passage."— Presentation transcript:
Comprehension and memory for text Comprehension = understanding of a passage or message Usually comprehension is measured by testing memory for the passage Comprehension is most successful when you integrate information in passage with information in LTM
Columbus discovering America With hocked gems financing him, our hero bravely defied all scornful laughter that tried to prevent his scheme. “Your eyes deceive,” he had said. “An egg, not a table, correctly typifies this unexplored planet.” Now three sturdy sisters sought proof. Forging along, sometimes through calm vastness, yet more often over turbulent peaks and valleys, days became weeks as many doubters spread fearful rumors about the edge. At last nowhere welcome winged creatures appeared, signifying momentous success.
Understanding passages Successful comprehension of passage requires using information in LTM about Columbus which is evoked by the title Dooling & Lachman (1971) – found people who read the story without a title remembered far less than people with the title
schemas Organized body of knowledge about a topic, person, event, place, etc. E.g., must activate schema about Columbus discovering America in order to comprehend passage “schema” – Bartlett, 1932
War of the Ghosts Students asked to memorize War of the Ghosts story Story comes from a set of Native American stories Ss repeatedly tried to remember the whole story after various delays Goal was to have a story that students would have trouble understanding – they lack appropriate schemas
results Retellings of the story would leave out the Native American elements that students didn’t understand in the first place After continuous retellings, the story becomes more and more “regularized” – similar to a story that might occur in the students’ culture Importance of the schema in influencing our comprehension
Dooling & colleagues After hearing or reading a passage –Two versions of the passage: one with Helen Keller as the name; one with Carol Harris Test –Sentence True/false : was this sentence in the passage? –E.g., She was deaf, dumb, and blind. –E.g., She was wild, stubborn, and violent.
results With Carol Harris version of the passage: people have no trouble telling which sentence was in the passage With Helen Keller version of the passage, people more likely to make mistakes distinguishing which sentence was in the passage Schema for Helen Keller was activated; people have difficulty telling what came from passage and what came from LTM (schema)
How schemas work E.g., “script” – schema for an event, time- based “going on a date” –Getting hair done –Getting dressed –Get money –Reservations, pick up person –Dinner, movie, walk to the door, ???
More on schemas Schemas are general – no particular details –i.e., abstract Schemas develop through experience –Therefore, everybody has personalized schemas
More in book Another example of importance of schemas –Bransford & Johnson (1973) washing clothes experiment on p. 326
The effect of schemas Positive effect –Allow us to understand messages Negative effect –Difficulty distinguishing between schema- based memories and message-based memories –Worst case, remember something that never happened
Schemas during retrieval Anderson & Pichert (1978) –Exposed to a passage and told that you will be asked questions later –Two boys play hooky from school and instead go to one of the boys’ houses because parents gone. –Passage includes description of what’s in the house and characteristics of the house Leaky roof, rare coin collection
More on experiment Task is to remember what you can about the house –Further told to take perspective of a home buyer as you recall Person likely to recall details such as leaky roof Then, given a different perspective (burglar), and asked to remember house Person likely to remember extra details about the house, such as rare coin collection
conclusion Invoking a different schema at retrieval influenced what you remember