Date of Award:

1992

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

Lani M. Van Dusen

Abstract

A series of six experiments investigated the effect of text-provided elaborations and prior knowledge on memory for text. In all experiments, subjects read 28 episodes, half of which were associated with well-known individuals, and the other half were associated with unknown individuals. In Experiment 1, text-provided elaborations enhanced recall only when the reader did not possess a high level of prior knowledge. The findings from Experiment 1 were hypothesized to be the result of readers generating relevant elaborations during text comprehension. Experiment 2 supported this hypothesis by providing evidence of self-generated elaborations. Experiment 3 provided evidence that this generation process occurred "on-line." The results from Experiments 4 and 5 extended these findings by showing that readers with high prior knowledge automatically generate causally relevant elaborations when the sentences have a low relation. The findings of Experiment 6 suggest that distinctive text-provided elaborations are more effective than normal text-provided elaborations only when readers have high prior knowledge.

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Included in

Psychology Commons

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