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Is it all in the telling?

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Title:
Is it all in the telling? a study of the role of text schemas and schematic text structures in the recall and comprehension of printed news stories
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Durham, Meenakshi Gigi, 1961-
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English
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xiii, 223 leaves : ill. ; 29 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Cognitive models ( jstor )
Comprehension ( jstor )
Grammar ( jstor )
Memory ( jstor )
Narratives ( jstor )
News content ( jstor )
Newspapers ( jstor )
Panthers ( jstor )
Prior learning ( jstor )
Reading comprehension ( jstor )
Reading comprehension ( lcsh )
Reporters and reporting ( lcsh )
Schemas (Psychology) ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis:
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1990.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 211-222).
General Note:
Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Meenakshi Gigi Durham.

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University of Florida
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Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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IS IT ALL IN THE TELLING?: A STUDY OF
THE ROLE OF TEXT SCHEMAS AND SCHEMATIC
TEXT STRUCTURES IN THE RECALL
AND COMPREHENSION OF PRINTED NEWS STORIES
















By

MEENAKSHI GIGI DURHAM


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


UNIVERSITY OF FLORiDA LiERAIES


1990
































Copyright 1990

by

Meenakshi Gigi Durham

































For Frank

and for the rest of my wonderful family.













ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


Producing one of the first doctoral dissertations from

the University of Florida's College of Journalism and

Communications has involved enormous struggles and,

ultimately, enormous rewards.

I could not have seen my way through it without the

encouragement and guidance of my committee members--Dr.

Leonard Tipton, Dr. Kurt Kent, Dr. Mickie Edwardson, Dr.

Nora Hoover, and Dr. Tom Fillmer. I thank them individually

and collectively for giving me so much of their time and

erudition during the research and writing of this

dissertation. Special thanks to Dr. Edwardson and Dr.

Fillmer for allowing me to conduct part of my research in

their undergraduate classes.

Dr. Thomas Abbott and fellow-Ph.D.-student Polly Moore

Shipp rallied to the cause when I cried for help with

finding experimental subjects. Heartfelt thanks to both of

them for letting me into their classrooms to badger their

students.

Many thanks to my friends and coworkers at the Graduate

School for their understanding and sympathy, especially when

I was in the last throes of dissertation dementia. Dan

Hanson and Sherman Martin's help with my modem and with the

iv







final printing of this work will not be soon forgotten.

Julie Shih was the kindest and most generous of supervisors,

allowing me time off whenever I needed it to research and

write this dissertation. Special thanks to Rose Barnett for

her sympathy, encouragement, and free counseling.

Many thanks also to my parents (without whom I would

not be in college at UF), Debbie Burke, Claire Walsh, Renee

and Hamilton Williams, Vishu Kulkarni, Mona Durham, and

finally to Dr. Roger Keroack for prodding me at just the

right time to dislodge me from a quicksand of inertia.

This dissertation is above all the product of years of

unyielding love, patience, and support from my husband

Frank. With all my heart, I thank him. Now he can be a

doctor's husband.








TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. .... ... iv

LIST OF TABLES .. .. vii

LIST OF FIGURES .. .. .. xi

ABSTRACT .. .... ... .... xii

CHAPTER 1
GENERAL INTRODUCTION .... .... .. 1
Research Question and Justification for This Study 1
Text Schemas and Text Structures: An
Overview . 2
Goal of This Research 3
The Concept of Schema 4
Definition of Schema 5
Functioning of Schemas 6
Schema-Theoretic Information Processing and Its
Application to the Mass Communication Model 9

CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE .. 14
The Foundations of Schema Theory 14
Bartlett's Experiments On Remembering 15
Minsky's Frameworks for the Representation of
Knowledge 19
Schema-Theoretic Approaches to Reading
Comprehension .... 20
Text Structures and the Reading Process .. 22
Schemas for the Structure of News Stories 28
Limitations of the Schema Concept .. 39
Predicted Associations. ... 42
Nominal Definitions 43


CHAPTER 3
METHOD . .
Hypotheses .
Operational Definitions .
The Independent Variables .
The Dependent Variables .
Reliability and Validity of
Instruments .
Reliability .
Validity .
The Control of Possibly
Variables .
The Experimental Design .
Subjects .
Method ..


Measurement



Confounding
. a .
. .
. .
. .


Some Considerations: Threats to External
and Internal Validity .


50
50
51
55
58

59
59
62

65
68
69
71

75







CHAPTER 4
RESULTS AND ANALYSIS .. .. 80
General Results 80
Effects of Altering the Story Structure on
Short-Term Recall ........ 84
Effects of Altering the Story Structure on
Long-Term Recall 88
Effects of Altering the Story Structure on
Comprehension 93
Summary . 97
Short-Term Recall of Text Content:
A Closer Look .. 98
Summary of Analysis of Short-Term Recall
Protocols 109
Some Theoretical Implications:
Correspondence of Strength of
Text Schema With Recall and
Comprehension 111
Comprehension: A Closer Look .130
Summary of In-Depth Analysis of Comprehension
Scores . 137
General Summary . 138

CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION . .. 141
Theoretical Implications 141
Problems Encountered and Possible Solutions 147
Suggestions For Further Research 150
Implications for the Field 152

APPENDIX A
MEASUREMENT INSTRUMENTS. .... 157

APPENDIX B
SCORING SHEETS .. .... 185

APPENDIX C
SCORING PROCEDURES . 203

REFERENCE LIST . 211

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH . 223


vii








LIST OF TABLES

Table 3-1. Descriptive statistics on the stimulus
used to measure recall and comprehension ... 54

Table 3-2. Descriptive statistics on the stimulus
passages used to measure strength of text schema 57

Table 3-3. Reliability coefficients of measurement
instruments . .. 61

Table 3-4. Summary table of descriptive statistics of
sample subjects .. 70

Table 3-5. Conceptual and operational definitions 78

Table 4-1. Analysis of variance of short-term recall
across text structure .. 82

Table 4-2. Analysis of variance of long-term recall
across text structure ... 83

Table 4-3. Analysis of variance of comprehension across
text structure ... 84

Table 4-4. Comparison of mean short-term recall scores
of narrative story group with news story group 86

Table 4-5. Comparison of mean short-term recall scores
of expository text group with news story group 88

Table 4-6. Comparison of mean short-term recall scores
of narrative story group with expository text
group .. . ... 89

Table 4-7. Comparison of mean long-term recall scores
of narrative story group with news story group 90

Table 4-8. Comparison of mean long-term recall scores
of expository text group with news story group 91

Table 4-9. Comparison of mean long-term recall scores
of narrative story group with expository text
group ... .. 92

Table 4-10. Comparison of mean comprehension scores of
narrative story group with news story group 94

Table 4-11. Comparison of mean comprehension scores of
expository text group with news story group 94


viii







Table 4-12. Comparison of mean comprehension scores of
narrative story group with expository text group 96

Table 4-13. Percentage of recall of the propositions
representing each terminal node for the expository
version of the panther passage .. 100

Table 4-14. Percentage of recall of the propositions
representing each terminal node for the narrative
version of the panther passage 102

Table 4-15. Percentage of recall of the propositions
representing each terminal node for the news
version of the panther passage 104

Table 4-16. Percentage of recall of the propositions
representing each terminal node for the expository
version of the political uprising passage .. 106

Table 4-17. Percentage of recall of the propositions
representing each terminal node for the narrative
version of the political uprising passage 108

Table 4-18. Percentage of recall of the propositions
representing each terminal node for the news
version of the political uprising passage .. 110

Table 4-19. Comparison of mean strength of schema scores
of narrative story group with news story group 112

Table 4-20. Comparison of mean strength of schema
scores of expository text group with news story
group . 113

Table 4-21. Comparison of mean strength of news schema
scores between infrequent newspaper readers and
frequent newspaper readers 114

Table 4-22. Correlations between strength of text
schema and short-term recall 115

Table 4-23. Comparison of mean comprehension scores of
subjects with high prior knowledge versus subjects
with low prior knowledge 124








Table 4-24. Comparison of mean comprehension scores of
subjects with high interest in the passage topic
versus subjects with low interest in the passage
topic ...... ...... ......... .. 126

Table 4-25. Crosstabulation of frequency of news media
use with interest in topic of passage .... .127

Table 4-26. Comparison of mean comprehension scores on
textually explicit, textually implicit, and
scriptally implicit questions ... .132







LIST OF FIGURES


Figure 2-1. Fedler's inverted pyramid 30

Figure 2-2. Diagrammtic representation of van Dijk's
news macrostructure 33

Figure 2-3. Newsom and Wollert's traditional inverted
pyramid ........ ........ ..... 35

Figure 2-4. Newsom and Wollert's modified inverted
pyramid . 36

Figure 4-1. Plot of short-term recall scores against
strength of text schema for panther passage, news
version . 117

Figure 4-2. Plot of short-term recall scores against
strength of text schema for political uprising
passage, news version 118

Figure 4-3. Plot of short-term recall scores against
strength of text schema for panther passage,
narrative version ...... 119

Figure 4-4. Plot of short-term recall scores against
strength of text schema for political uprising
passage, narrative version 120

Figure 4-5. Plot of short-term recall scores against
strength of text schema for panther passage,
expository version 121

Figure 4-6. Plot of short-term recall scores against
strength of text schema for political uprising
passage, expository version .. 122













Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

IS IT ALL IN THE TELLING?: A STUDY OF THE ROLE
OF TEXT SCHEMAS AND SCHEMATIC TEXT STRUCTURES IN THE
RECALL AND COMPREHENSION OF PRINTED NEWS STORIES

By

Meenakshi Gigi Durham

May 1990


Chairperson: Dr. Leonard P. Tipton
Major Department: Journalism and Communications

On the basis of schema-theoretic approaches to the

reading process, this study focused on the extent to which

the underlying structure of news stories and readers'

schemas for text structures affect the comprehension and

recall of the stories' content.

Because readers' awareness of text structures has been

shown to influence their cognitive processing of text

content, it was hypothesized that altering a news story so

that the text conformed to a more familiar structure might

increase comprehension and recall.

Two stimulus news passages were rewritten twice--once

to conform to a story grammar and once to conform to an

expository/attribution text structure. Subjects (n=104)

read a stimulus passage, performed distractor tasks


xii







including a measure of the strength of the subject's schema

for the stimulus passage's text structure, and then

responded to measures of free short-term and long-term

recall and comprehension.

Readers were found to have significantly higher short-

term recall of the narrative and expository versions of both

text passages than the news stories, E (2,50) = 2.881, p =

0.065 for Passage I and F (2,45) = 3.529, p = 0.038 for

Passage II. However, subjects' comprehension of the two

passages did not appear to be significantly affected by the

experimental manipulation overall, E (2,50) = 1.985, p =

0.148 in the case of Passage I, and (2,45) = 0.179, p =

0.836 in the case of Passage II. Long-term recall was

significantly affected by alteration of text structure for

Passage I, E (2,35) = 3.102, p = .057, but not for Passage

II, E (2,25) = 0.907, p = 0.416.

Subjects' interest in the topic of the passage was

found to influence comprehension in the case of Passage I (t

= 2.36, p = 0.011) but not for Passage II (t = 1.21, E =

0.116).


xiii













CHAPTER 1
GENERAL INTRODUCTION


News writing has traditionally aimed at presenting

information in a clear, concise manner designed to render

the news content of a story accessible to as large a number

of readers as possible (McCombs & Becker, 1979, p. 18).

Reporters are exhorted to write simply and clearly, using

short sentences and familiar words (cf. Berner, 1984;

Hutchison, 1986; Jones, 1978). Mencher (1984) notes, "News

is information people need in order to make rational

decisions about their lives" (p. 77). If the information is

meant to be useful, it follows that an ideal news story

would be one that a reader could easily comprehend and also

could easily recall when the information in it needs to be

retrieved.


Research Question and Justification for This Study


The goal of this research was to investigate a specific

domain within the broad topic of schematic cognition and its

bearing on the comprehension and recall of news. In

particular, this study focused on the structure of print








news messages and the ways in which readers' schemas for

such structure influence their interaction with the content

of the messages.


Text Schemas and Text Structures: An Overview


Numerous studies indicate that a reader's familiarity

with the way in which information is organized in a text has

a significant impact on how well he/she comprehends and

remembers it (Adams & Collins, 1977; Anderson, 1977;

Marshall & Glock, 1978-79; Taylor, 1980; Pearson &

Camperell, 1985; McGee, 1982; Whaley, 1981a, 1981b; Gourley,

1984; Rumelhart, 1985; Bobrow, Black, & Turner, 1985;

Ruddell & Speaker, 1985). Research also demonstrates that

different types of text have underlying "grammars" or

linguistic structures that depend on the goal of the text--

narrative structures have been identified for simple fiction

stories (Rumelhart, 1975; Mandler & Johnson, 1977; Stein &

Glenn, 1979), and a variety of structures have been found

for various types of nonfiction text (chronological,

taxonomical, persuasive, directive, expository, etc.; see

Gillet & Temple, 1986, pp. 247-254). Van Dijk (1983, 1988a)

has identified an underlying structure for hard news

stories.

Story grammars are usually the first text structures

acquired by readers, through early exposure to stories in

childhood (Applebee, 1978; Hoover, 1981). Nonfiction







3

structures are learned later, generally from the third grade

on (Gillet & Temple, 1986, p. 49). Richards (1978) has

observed that many students who are reading fluently in the

beginning grades start to experience reading problems in the

fourth and fifth grades, when a greater amount of nonfiction

material is introduced into the curriculum. She speculates

that this phenomenon arises from children's lack of

familiarity with text structures other that of the fictional

narrative.

Green (1979) claims that the unfamiliar and often

illogical organization of the typical hard news story can

actually impede comprehension of the information contained

in it. However, she provides no experimental data to

support this hypothesis. How, in fact, does the traditional

"inverted pyramid" structure of a news story influence

comprehension and recall of news? And how might such

effects be related to the receiver's prior knowledge of text

structures? These questions are considered herein.


Goal of This Research


This study investigates some factors influencing the

information gained from news stories, focusing principally

upon the ways the structural organization of hard news

stories affects their comprehension and recall.

Numerous studies have explored the comprehension and

recall of news stories. Most of the research to date has







4

measured audience members' memory for the factual content of

news stories (Edwardson, Kent, & McConnell, 1985; Katz,

Adoni, & Parness, 1977; Gunter, 1981); little attention,

however, has been paid to the cognitive processes involved

in the assimilation, storage, and later retrieval of news

content, or to the relationship between these processes and

the news message itself. Recent research indicates that

comprehension and recall are interactive operations in which

a reader brings his/her prior knowledge and beliefs into

play while encoding new information and later activates that

knowledge for retrieval of the information (e.g. Bobrow &

Norman, 1975; Schank & Abelson, 1977; Pearson, Hansen, &

Gordon, 1979; Graesser & Nakamura, 1982; Freebody &

Anderson, 1983; Stahl & Jacobson, 1986). The theoretical

position on which these findings are predicated is known as

schema theory.1


The Concept of Schema

The psychological concept of the schema emerged

initially as a reaction to the traditional associationist

models of memory and learning (e.g. Ebbinghaus, 1964), in

which recall occurred simply as a response to a stimulus.

The associationist model gradually gave way to the trace

theory of mental representation, which evolved into schema



'In this document, the word "schema" will be pluralized as
schemass" rather than as schemataa," as per the style used by
Mandler (1984, p.2, note 1)









theory as we know it today (for a more complete account of

the history of schema theory, see Hastie, 1981). The notion

of a schema was first used in studies of memory and

remembering and was later applied in the study of reasoning,

learning, language processing, problem solving, reading, and

countless other cognitive and psychosocial processes.


Definition of Schema


In general terms, a schema may be defined as a dynamic,

generic mental framework for the hierarchical representation

of knowledge. Anderson (1977) asserts, "A schema represents

generic knowledge; that is, it represents what is believed

to be generally true of a class of things, events, or

situations" (p. 2). Each schema contains slots for its

various components: for example, a rudimentary schema for a

human face would contain slots for eyes, a nose, a mouth,

and ears. Each new face encountered by an individual with

this schema would present new information that could easily

be fitted into these slots. Schemas are generally created,

or instantiated, through experience; once in place, they are

key to innumerable cognitive processes.

Graesser and Nakamura (1982), in an extensive

exposition on the role of schemas in comprehension and

memory, define schemas as "generic knowledge structures that

guide the comprehender's interpretations, inferences,

expectations, and attention. A schema is generic in that it









is a summary of the components, attributes, and

relationships that typically occur in specific exemplars"

(pp. 60-61).

Fiske and Taylor (1984) refer to a schema as "a

cognitive structure that represents organized knowledge

about a given concept or type of stimulus" (p. 140). In

their view, a stored schema represents preexisting knowledge

about a given topic and also guides the assimilation,

interpretation, and subsequent recall of incoming

information. They note that "cognitive research on the role

of generic prior knowledge has demonstrated the importance

of schemata in basic processes of understanding and memory"

(p. 145).


Functioning of Schemas


An essential aspect of the concept of schema concerns

the notion that schemas are active rather than immutable or

static; schemas perform a variety of different operations

and are constantly modified, altered, and elaborated as

cognitive processes occur. Piaget (1952) writes of the

processes of assimilation and accommodation of schemas that

transpire whenever schemas are used in interpreting

information. New information is assimilated via an existing

schema; an individual with a more elaborate schema for the

incoming information will be in a better position to absorb

more details of the incoming data. Simultaneously, the







7

schema becomes enriched by accommodating or assimilating the

new information. These phenomena occur constantly as

information is continually processed, encoded and modified.

Rumelhart (1980) posits that schematic learning involves

three processes: the learning of facts, or accretion, in

which information is encoded into schemas; elaboration and

refinement of schemas through continued experience, or

tuning; and the creation of new schemas, known as

restructuring. Rumelhart's model illustrates the flexible

nature of schemas.

Another key characteristic of schemas is their

hierarchical organization. Rumelhart and Ortony (1977) note

that

each schema is characterized in terms of lower level
constituents, or subschemata. Presumably, the
dependence that schemata have on lower level schemata
must ultimately stop, that is to say, some schemata
must be atomic in the sense that they are not
characterized by reference to any other constituent
schemata. Thus, our entire knowledge system
would appear to ultimately rest on a set of atomic
schemata. (p. 106)


Rumelhart (1980) describes schemas as "the fundamental

elements upon which all information processing depends" (p.

33). Schemas can be used to interpret information, to

retrieve information from memory, to organize actions, to

set goals, to allocate resources, and to organize all

information processing, but above all they are useful in the

process of constructing meaning, or comprehending.









Rumelhart defines a schema as "a data structure for

representing the generic concepts stored in memory" (p. 34).

Rumelhart and Ortony (1977) have identified four

essential properties of schemas, to wit (a) schemas possess

variables, (b) schemas can embed in one another, (c) schemas

represent generic concepts of varying levels of abstraction,

and (d) schemas are representations of knowledge, not

definitions. To these four characteristics, Rumelhart

(1980) added two more--(e) schemas are active processes, and

(f) schemas are recognition devices whose processing is

aimed at the evaluation of their goodness of fit to the data

being processed.

Hastie (1981) recognizes three distinct types of

schemas. The simplest are the central tendency schemas,

also termed prototype schemas. Such a schema refers to "a

member of a stimulus set that is located at the statistical

center of the distribution of items in the set" (Hastie,

1981, p. 40), or to "the member of a category with the most

attributes in common with other members of the category and

the fewest attributes in common with members of other

contrasting categories" (Hastie, 1981, p. 40). In other

words, such a schema would represent the archetype of a

given concept.

The second type of cognitive schema Hastie identifies

is termed a template schema. These schemas classify, store,

and coordinate incoming information. They are more active









in nature than prototype schemas in that they can add

generic information to the schematic structure when

anticipated information is not supplied during assimilation,

they can modify schema boundaries depending on the nature of

the incoming information, and they can perform tests on new

information to determine its proper classification.

The most complex type of schema is labeled a procedural

schema. Such a schema directs the exploration and

information-seeking that make new information more readily

available to the individual. It specifies the criteria by

which new information is encoded into particular schemas or

subschemas. It is elaborated and enriched when new

information is assimilated. This type of schema "is a

pattern of action as well as a pattern for action" (Neisser,

1976, p. 54).


Schema-Theoretic Information Processing and Its Application
to the Mass Communication Model


In the schematic view of cognition, incoming

information is encoded and stored via an appropriate schema

or pre-existing mental knowledge structure. Graesser and

Nakamura (1982) recognize two stages in the functioning of

schemas during learning: schema identification and schema

application. During schema identification, the learner

selects a schema which matches some aspects of the input

data. Here, the incoming information "matches the









components, attributes, and relationships of a particular

schema better than alternative schemas" (Graesser &

Nakamura, 1982, p. 62). Once an appropriate schema has been

identified, schema application, the second stage, ensues.

In this stage of information processing, the schema directs

the perception and interpretation of new information and

provides the prior information necessary to comprehend the

new information. The schema also determines the amount of

attention the learner gives to the elements in the incoming

data and aids the learner in formulating expectations about

relevant events or information that may follow. As Graesser

and Nakamura point out, "[S]chemas are very powerful and

intelligent knowledge structures" (p. 63). During recall,

information is retrieved via the schema through which it was

encoded.

Variations on this model of information processing have

been developed (cf. Norman & Bobrow, 1976; Rumelhart, 1980),

but the fundamental mechanism remains essentially the same

in all of them. Schemas play a crucial and multifold role

in the processes of comprehension and memory. Schemas

generate a wealth of prior knowledge essential for

understanding, they organize and format incoming

information, and they provide an efficient mechanism for the

retrieval of stored information.

These operations are all necessary in the comprehension

and recall of news and other messages generated via the mass









media. In Lasswell's model of the communication process,

the transmission of information via mass media is expressed

in the question, "Who says what to whom through what

channels of communication?" (Smith, Lasswell, & Casey, 1946,

p. 121). Another widely accepted model of communication,

the Shannon-Weaver model, also incorporates the sender-

message-medium-receiver chain (Shannon, 1949). The

processing of media-generated messages once they have

reached their destination--i.e., the individual receiver

(newspaper or magazine reader, broadcast listener or

viewer)--is crucial to the success of any mass

communication. Woodall, Davis, and Sahin (1983) point out

that

the process of understanding the news is a cumulative
process both for the individual and for society. The
ability or inability to understand and remember the
news presented to viewers on any given day will leave
viewers more prepared or less prepared to understand
the news tomorrow. As a society, we make decisions
about collective actions based on our understanding of
the world around us which we derive in part from news
stories. If there is widespread and increased
misunderstanding of certain news stories, we may all
make poorer decisions. (p. 194)


The receiver in the mass communication model has been

studied extensively from a variety of perspectives: A

substantial body of research addresses the individual's use

of the mass media and the gratifications derived therefrom

(e.g. Blumler, 1979; Windahl, 1981) and the effects of mass

media messages on the individual's behavior (e.g. Becker &

Whitney, 1980; McLeod & Reeves, 1981; Weaver, 1982; Hawkins









& Pingree, 1983; Bryant & Zillman, 1986). Scant attention

has been paid, however, to the cognitive processing of the

mass media news message and the ways in which it is mentally

stored and later retrieved (or not) by the receiver.

Research of this type is still relatively in its infancy in

the annals of mass communication scholarship.

Much of the existing research on the processing of

mass media news messages focuses on memory for news,

although a few studies do address the issue of comprehension

of news stories. Very little empirical evidence is

available to support existing hypotheses on these topics,

and that which exists focuses primarily on the

quantification of news recall (Booth, 1970; Neuman, 1976;

Gunter, 1980, 1981; Findahl & Hoijer, 1975, 1981, 1985;

Edwardson, Grooms & Pringle, 1976; Edwardson, Grooms, &

Proudlove, 1981; Edwardson, Kent, & McConnell, 1985).

Studies of recall and comprehension of news grounded in

theory of cognition are virtually nonexistent.

The Swedish research team of Olle Findahl and Birgitta

Hoijer has long been interested in the study of recall and

comprehension of news messages. Several of their studies

have shown that prior knowledge is vital to comprehension

and recall of news (cf. Findahl & Hoijer, 1981; Findahl &

Hoijer, 1985). In other words, the existence of a schema

for a news topic or for some other aspect of a news story







13

will improve comprehension and recall of the story. As they

point out:

Schema theory stresses the organization of earlier
knowledge in memory in general or prototypical
schemata, representing standard situations, events, or
structures. Two different kinds of schemata have been
proposed: one deals with knowledge about recurrent
events and situations ; the other deals with
knowledge about the typical structure of stories .
In news comprehension both kinds of schemata (about
recurrent events and about the structure of news items)
are probably activated. (Findahl & Hoijer, 1985, p.
390)

In a departure from the strictly numbers-oriented

tradition of this line of research in mass communication,

Woodall, Davis, and Sahin (1983) proposed a theoretical

framework for memory and understanding of news based on

principles of episodic memory and on the trace theory of

memory and understanding. Another pioneer in this domain,

Doris Graber (1988), conducted in-depth interviews with 21

subjects in Evanston, Illinois, to study their schema-based

strategies for processing information gained mainly from the

news media. These theoretical perspectives are strongly

tied to the schematic model of information processing, the

origins and ramificatications of which are discussed in the

next chapter.






CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE

Schema-based models of information processing have led

to increased understanding of the recall and comprehension

of written text. Central to the development of such models

is the evolution of the construct of the schema as a

paradigm for cognition.

In this chapter, the development of the schema theory of

cognition is traced from its early applications in studies

of memory processes to its current role in research on

reading comprehension and recall of text information.


The Foundations of Schema Theory


Two seminal pieces of research form the keystones of

schema theory as it is applied in the study of reading

cognition today. The first is the work done by Frederic

Bartlett of Cambridge University, England, as set forth in

his book Remembering (1932). The second is a paper in the

realm of artificial intelligence written by Marvin Minsky

(1974).









Bartlett's Experiments On Remembering


Near the beginning of this century, Bartlett conducted

a series of experiments with a view to studying

systematically the specific social factors that influence

visual perception, imaging, and memory, arguing that

perception and imagery are both significantly affected by

recalled prior information, and that they in turn influence

memory.

To study perception, Bartlett exposed experimental

subjects to shapes and patterns of varying complexity, and

to pictures representing easily-identifiable objects and

situations, for intervals ranging from 1/15 to 1/4 of a

second. Subjects were asked to reproduce the illustration

they had seen or simply to describe it. Bartlett observed

that the subjects' perceptions of the stimuli were

determined by their attitudes, interests, and dispositions.

He observed that "in perceiving, the data presented have to

be connected with something else before they can be

assimilated" (Bartlett, 1932, p. 46).

Imaging was studied by means of a similar experiment in

which Bartlett showed subjects various inkblots and

encouraged them to describe them. The results of this

experiment indicated that, again, subjects drew on prior

information and attitudes when describing the inkblots, and

that their reactions to the inkblots were part of a search

for meaning in the stimuli. Bartlett noted that








16
the subject, confronted by his task and having to
use the same instruments of subjective tendencies,
bias, interests, and temperamental factors, casts about
for analogies with which to subdue the intractability
of the perceptual data. (1932, p. 45)


Bartlett's work on remembering is extensive,

incorporating a series of experiments in which five

different methodologies were used: the method of

description, the method of repeated reproduction, the method

of picture writing, and two methods of serial reproduction.

In the first experiment, Bartlett showed subjects a

series of five picture postcards, each of which bore the

face of a different naval or military officer. Subjects

were briefly exposed to each postcard separately and thirty

minutes after the exposure were instructed to describe the

various cards in the order in which they thought them to

have been presented. Recall was tested several times

thereafter, following intervals of one week and longer, and

questions on the stimuli were posed.

In the second experiment, Bartlett asked subjects to

read the short story "The War of the Ghosts" by Franz Boas.

Each subject read the story twice, silently, and after a

lapse of 20 hours orally retold the tale. Bartlett studied

the accuracy of the retellings and the various types of

deviations from the original story stimulus.

The third experiment utilized the method of picture

writing, where subjects memorized various symbols that

represented words and were then asked to use the symbols in







17

writing down a dictated account of a short story containing

words for which symbols had been taught. Bartlett studied

methods of learning and conventions of representation,

concluding that a few broad patterns of recall and

transmission of symbols exist that are largely social in

origin and character. He also found a negative correlation

between determination to remember and actual forgetting.

Bartlett's final experiments were based on two methods

of serial reproduction and were designed to study the

effects of the transformations brought about by many

individuals in the transmission of a stimulus. The

experimental method used in the first of these experiments

was similar to the method of repeated reproduction. Again,

a subject was asked to read and retell a story, but the

retelling was then reproduced by a second subject, whose

retelling was in turn reproduced by a third subject, and so

on. Bartlett's focus was the main trends of change in

series of reproductions gleaned from a number of different

subjects. A variety of stimuli were used, including folk

tales and nonfictional passages. The experiment was

conducted using a variety of different social and ethnic

groups of subjects.

The second experiment using the method of serial

reproduction was based on pictorial material--decorative

patterns, illustrations, art forms, and other items. These

picture representations were submitted to a course of







18

repeated and serial reproductions in the same manner as were

the stories in the first experiment.

In both experiments, Bartlett found that

transformations occurred which resulted in an overall loss

of the individualizing features of each stimulus, so that in

the final reproduction the stimulus had been changed into

some more "conventional" representation of the original.

The theory of remembering that evolved from Bartlett's

experiments laid the foundation for much of the schema

theory on which this research is based. Bartlett (1932)

noted that

when any specific event occurs some trace, or some
group of traces, is made and stored up in the organism
or in the mind. Later, an immediate stimulus re-
excites the trace, or group of traces, and, provided a
further assumption is made to the effect that the trace
somehow carries with it a temporal sign, the re-
excitement appears to be equivalent to recall. (p. 197)


Bartlett postulated that these memory traces are linked

in organized frameworks that support the process of learning

and remembering. Each of these frameworks, or "postural

models", he termed a "schema." In Bartlett's words,

"'Schema' refers to an active organisation of past

reactions, or of past experiences, which must always be

supposed to be operating in any well-adapted organic

response" (p. 201). In his view, schemas both influence the

acquisition of new information and are continually being

elaborated by the addition of new information.









Minsky's Frameworks for the Representation of Knowledge


By synthesizing a number of classical and modern

paradigms from psychology, artificial intelligence, and

linguistics, Marvin Minsky of the Massachusetts Institute of

Technology developed a theory of memory based on the

existence of "frames" that are similar in function to

Bartlett's schemas. As Minsky defines it, "A frame is a

data-structure for representing.a stereotyped situation"

(Minsky, 1974, p. 211); it is also "a network of nodes and

relations" (p. 211). In his model, a frame has top levels

which represent unvarying knowledge about the situations in

question, and lower levels containing terminals or slots

that are filled by specific instances or data. Each

terminal or slot can specify conditions for the incoming

data. Collections of frames and sub-frames are linked into

complex frame systems, and frames within each frame system

share terminals, which makes it possible to coordinate

information gathered from different viewpoints. In the

learning or data-acquisition process, information is matched

with a frame and then assimilated. If no frame exactly

matches the new information, the best available one is

modified and stored, in much the same way that Bartlett's

schemas are elaborated when new information is acquired.

Memory, according to Minsky's hypothesis, is a function of

frame retrieval--a process corresponding to schema

activation during remembering.









The work of Bartlett and Minsky has had significant

impact on the study of cognition and forms the underpinning

of much of the recent research in reading cognition.


Schema-Theoretic Approaches to Reading Comprehension


As Durkin (1984) has pointed out, reading instruction

has long taken into account a reader's prior knowledge as a

crucial factor in the comprehension of printed text. Schema

theory is predicated upon the notion that this prior

knowledge is organized into dynamic knowledge structures in

the brain that are activated during the reading process, as

well as during other types of cognitive processing. As

Adams and Collins (1977) have observed:

The goal of schema theory is to specify the interface
between the reader and the text--to specify how the
reader's knowledge interacts with and shapes the
information on the page and to specify how that
knowledge must be organized to support the interaction.
(p. 5)

Anderson (1985) has pointed out that from a schema-

based perspective, reading involves the analysis of text at

many different levels simultaneously. In his definition,

processes that stem from the actual print on the page are

termed "bottom-up" or "data-driven," while processes that

originate with the reader's prior information about the text

content are "top-down" or "hypothesis-driven" (p. 376).

Adams and Collins (1977) provide a model of reading

comprehension that describes the act of comprehension as one









in which "top-down" and "bottom-up" schematic processing

occur simultaneously. Using Aesop's fable "Stone Soup," the

authors analyze the reading process on four levels: letter

and word, syntactic, semantic, and interpretative. Letter

and word recognition are fundamentally bottom-up processes,

although words are recognized by letter and holistically--

letter schemas activate word schemas, and, as a word schema

becomes active, "it proportionally and reciprocally

facilitates the letter schemata corresponding to its

component letters" (p. 21). Syntactic, semantic, and

interpretative processing are "top-down" operations, wherein

prior knowledge or existing schemas about fables, word

meanings, and problem-solving are brought into play so that

the new information in the stimulus story can be efficiently

encoded and understood. Schema theory has been applied to

explain the comprehension of written text in numerous

studies in the last decade (e.g. Anderson, 1977; Pace, 1978;

Adams & Bruce, 1980; Pearson, Hansen, & Gordon, 1979;

Anderson, 1985; Pearson & Camperell, 1985; Stahl & Jacobson,

1986). This recent research stems from the work of

Bartlett.

Schank and Abelson (1977) defined a schema as "the

large repertoire of knowledge structures brought to the

reading task by the reader which enable him to understand

information which is not directly contained in the text of a

given action" (pp. 9-10). In other words, a schema-








22

theoretic approach to reading would suggest that reading is

a process requiring a significant amount of prior knowledge

on the part of the reader. Anderson (1977) proposes that

language comprehension involves rapidly sorting information

into slots in a schema. Slots are "placeholders" in schemas

into which elements of incoming information can be fitted.

To comprehend written material, a reader is required to fit

textual information into slots in his/her schema for that

information.

The notion that a schema must have been instantiated

for reading comprehension to occur may be applied at several

levels of the reading process. Some schema for the content

of the text passage must exist for comprehension to take

place (e.g. Stahl & Jacobson, 1986; Pearson, Hansen, &

Gordon, 1979). Adams and Collins (1977) suggest that

readers use schemas both to decode written symbols and to

extract meaning from written words. And a growing body of

literature indicates that some knowledge of the discourse

structure or "text grammar" of a passage, i.e. a "text

schema," is essential for reading comprehension.


Text Structures and the Reading Process


In his book Remembering, Bartlett proposed that recall

of written material depends on a reader's schema for the

structure of a written passage (Bartlett, 1932). Such

structures, also known as text grammars, have been theorized









to be fundamental in the organization of all written text

(Rumelhart, 1975; Rumelhart, 1977; Mandler & Johnson, 1977;

Meyer, 1977a, 1977b; Stein & Glenn, 1979; Marshall & Glock,

1979; Taylor, 1980; Taylor & Samuels, 1983). Underlying

structures have been isolated for narrative texts (story

grammars), as well as for descriptive, expository, and

argumentative texts. A rudimentary story grammar for a

fable, for example, would comprise a story and a moral.

Research indicates that a knowledge of text grammars is

essential to the reading process; thus, a reader would have

to have a schema for the "fable grammar" to recognize and

assimilate a fable in its entirety.

Handler and Johnson (1977) refer to a story schema as

"an idealized representation of the parts of a typical story

and the relationships among those parts" (p. 112).

The basic organizational pattern of the Handler &

Johnson (1977) story grammar comprises the following

elements:

1. The setting of the story: The protagonist, and

possibly other characters, are introduced; the

temporal and physical locations of the story are

indicated; any other information is provided which

may assist the reader to follow subsequent events.

2. An event: An action or idea that precipitates

further story developments.









3. An internal reaction, which may be either simple

or complex: When the character's internal

reaction leads to a single action, it is termed a

simple reaction; when the internal reaction

results in the setting of a goal, which is

followed by an attempt to reach that goal, the

internal reaction is a complex reaction.

4. An outcome: This is the result of the

protagonist's attempt to arrive at the goal set in

the internal reaction. If the outcome is not

successful, the protagonist may try again, with a

different outcome. The pattern may thus be

repeated within a story.

5. An ending: A state of affairs in which the story

is wrapped up "with a dramatic flourish" (p.

124).

Numerous studies have demonstrated that a knowledge of

story grammars, i.e. the presence of story schemas in

readers, facilitates reading comprehension and recall of

stories. Mandler (1978) investigated the effects of

scrambling two-episode stories generated on the basis of the

Mandler and Johnson (1977) story grammar when testing for

recall using second- fourth- and sixth-grade children as

subjects, as well as a group of adult subjects. She found

that the structure of the stimulus stories had a significant

impact on the quantity, quality, and temporal sequencing of







25

recall for children and adults; when the basic story grammar

was violated, subjects showed a tendency to recall stories

according to the correct grammatical structure rather than

in the form in which they were presented. It also appeared

that children relied more on story schemas than did adults.

In a similar study using only adult subjects (n=64),

Stein and Nezworski (1978) examined recall of stories of

four types: (a) Exact Order (stories that followed the Stein

& Glenn story grammar), (b) Slightly Disordered (two

elements of the grammatical story transposed), (c) Randomly

Ordered (story elements presented in random order), and (d)

Unrelated Statements (twelve statements from which no causal

order could be inferred). Subjects in the Exact Order

treatment demonstrated nearly perfect recall of the stimulus

material; recall dropped in each experimental condition as

more story conventions were violated. Additionally,

subjects who were instructed to recall the stories "in the

form of a good, coherent story" rather than in the

presentation format tended to recall the text in an order

which corresponded almost exactly to story grammar order.

The data indicated that the underlying structure of a story

had a significant influence on its retention and recall.

In a more recent experiment, twenty fourth-grade

children considered average or below-average readers, and

who lacked a sense of story structure, were randomly

assigned to one of two treatment groups: instruction in









narrative structure or instruction in dictionary usage and

vocabulary (Fitzgerald & Spiegel, 1983). It was found that

the children provided with instruction in story structure

showed significant gains in reading comprehension compared

with the control group. Spiegel and Fitzgerald (1986)

provide details of the instruction given to the treatment

group.

Fitzgerald (1984) found that in fourth- and sixth-grade

children, there was a significant positive correlation

between reading achievement and ability to anticipate

narrative structure. The correlation was consistent across

grade level.

Van Dijk and Kintsch (1985) hypothesized that (a) in

order to understand narratives, subjects must have a general

knowledge of a conventional narrative structure, (b) a

subject's construction of a story structure comprises a

necessary component of story comprehension, and (c) the

information stored in memory corresponds to the structure of

a text. All three hypotheses were experimentally supported.

Similarly, it has been shown that knowledge of

nonfictional text structures helps readers better recall and

comprehend nonfictional text (Meyer, 1975; Meyer, 1977a,

1977b; Meyer, Brandt, & Bluth, 1980; Meyer & Freedle, 1979;

Mulcahy & Samuels, 1987). The expository text structure is

written with the purpose of describing or explaining

something. Meyer (1977b) notes that recall of expository







27

prose is primarily a function of recognizing superordinate

(or top-level) and subordinate (lower-level) structural

propositions in the text:

The top level information in the content structure is
similar to what educators have identified as the main
ideas of a passage and the interrelationships among
those ideas. The top levels of the structure appear to
carry the central message of a passage. In contrast,
the low-level information in the content structure is
not part of the central message of a passage although
it often supports various aspects of the message;
instead, the low levels of the structure appear to
contain information peripheral to the central message
of a passage. (Meyer, 1977b, pp. 330-331)


Meyer has identified several types of organizational

structures and relationships characteristics of nonfictional

texts. These include taxonomical, chronological, cause and

effect, directive, comparison and contrast, and enumerative

or attributional. These organizational schemas are acquired

gradually through long-term exposure to different discourse

types.

Bartlett (1978) found the enumerative or attributional

structure to be the most common type of textbook

organization. An outstanding feature of the attributional

expository text structure is the theme paragraph, where each

paragraph begins with a topic sentence synopsizing the

paragraph's content, followed by elaborative sentences.

Taylor (1980) found that children who are "good"

readers (scoring higher on standardized reading tests than

other children in the same grade) use prose text structure

to organize recall. Taylor and Samuels (1983) found that









superior recall for expository text could be attributed to

the use of text structure as a retrieval aid. More

recently, in an examination of the complementary roles of

text schemas and content schemas in reading, Ohlhausen and

Roller (1988) determined that both types of schema are used

in reading and comprehending expository text.


Schemas for the Structure of News Stories


Research which integrates cognitive science, schematic

views of reading, and the processing of news information is

still in its infancy. News stories would appear to combine

the characteristics of narrative and expository text and

thus possess a structure uniquely their own. That news

stories follow a set structural pattern is a notion which

has been intuitively acknowledged as true for many years.

In the textbook Writing for Mass Communication, Hutchison

(1986) points out that all hard news stories2 should have a

formal structure, beginning with a lead:

In a good lead, the important things come first.
They provide the umbrella under which all details of
the story will fit comfortably. The details
usually flow from the lead in order of descending
importance into the succeeding paragraphs. A simple

2The inverted pyramid story structure is characteristic of
that of hard news stories, i.e. stories that are factual accounts
of events, usually with a time element. Soft news stories (news
stories with a human interest focus, written in a lighter vein) or
feature stories often do not follow the inverted pyramid structure.
The present research is therefore confined to hard news stories.
For a more detailed classification of news story types, see
McCombs, Shaw, and Grey (1979), Handbook of Reporting Methods, p.
293.









news story about a minor traffic accident or a minor
house fire will look like an inverted pyramid. (p. 125)


One form of the inverted pyramid structure is that

described by Fedler (1989), shown in Figure 2-1 and

discussed in detail later in this section.

The structuring of hard news stories is in fact so

entrenched in the newswriting process that Tuchman (1978)

claims that most news stories consist of prestructured

patterns of words into which reporters insert "factoids."

The traditional "inverted pyramid" structure of news

stories corresponds to the concept of a schematic structure

or text grammar. Van Dijk (1983, 1988a, 1988b) observed

that a news story can be viewed in terms of schematically

structured discourse. Using cognitive models, Van Dijk

examined media discourse and its representation in memory,

and his analysis of newspaper stories led him to postulate

an underlying macrostructure for news stories

The overall organization of news discourse reflects the
importance of macrostructures. These will typically be
expressed by titles or headlines, by initial or final
summaries, or by leads. .The lead, often printed in
bold type will express, in a first few sentences
(which are, by definition, "thematical sentences"), the
full macrostructure of the news discourse. Following
sentences will then progressively specify further
details of the events, with the less important ones at
the end (with the practical consequences that these
can, if necessary, be cut by the editor). Unlike
argumentatively structured discourse, such as the
scholarly paper, where the important conclusion comes
at the end, news in the daily press is organized by the
principle of relevance or importance, along a dimension
of decreasing prominence with respect to the macro-
structure. (Van Dijk, 1983, p. 35)

















Summary lead

Most important facts

Next most important facts

Explanations

Quotes

Description

Related facts

Background


Figure 2-1. Fedler's inverted pyramid.









Van Dijk's grammar for news discourse is outlined

below:

1. Summary/introduction
1.1 Headlines
1.2 Lead
2. Episode(s)
2.1 Events
2.1.1 Previous information
2.1.2 Antecedents
2.1.3 Actual events
2.1.4 Explanation
2.1.4.1 Context
2.1.4.2 Background
2.2 Consequences/reactions
2.2.1 Events
2.2.2 Speeches
3. Comments
3.1 Expectations
3.2 Evaluation
A diagrammatic representation of this structure is

shown in Figure 2-1.

Van Dijk has noted that while the elements of this news

macrostructure are present in almost all hard news stories,

their sequence may vary depending on such factors as the

semantic content of the story, the news values of the

writer, the complexity of the story, and so on.

In his study, van Dijk analyzed news stories from a

number of international newspapers; however, the

macrostructure he proposed does not correspond very well

with the average hard news story found in American









newspapers, especially with regard to the last category in

the structure--the "Comments" category. In general, hard

news stories produced in the United States do not include

evaluations or predictions of possible consequences of the

actual events detailed in the stories.

In a popular journalism textbook, Fedler (1989)

describes the structure of a hard news story thus:

The lead in an inverted pyramid story summarizes the
topic, and each of the following paragraphs presents
some additional information about it: names,
descriptions, quotations, conflicting viewpoints,
explanations, background data and so forth. Most
paragraphs are self-contained units that require no
further explanation, and only the summary of the entire
story appears in the lead. News stories end with their
least important details--rarely with any type of
conclusion. (pp. 135-136)


Fedler's version of the inverted pyramid story may be

graphically represented as shown earlier in this chapter in

Figure 2-1.

Newsom and Wollert (1988, p. 120) determined that most

news stories have the following elements:

1. The lead (the main point)

2. Secondary points in a tie-in transition

3. Elaboration on the main point

4. Support for the lead

5. Background

6. Development of the main idea

7. Details












NEWS REPORT


STORY


SUMMARY


HEADLINE LEAD


SITUATION


COMMENTS


VERBAL
REACTIONS


BACKGROUND


EPISODE


CONSEQUENCES


,CONCLUSIONS


EXPECTATIONS


MAIN EVENTS


CONTEXT


HISTORY


EVALUATIONS


CIRCUMSTANCES


PREVIOUS EVENTS


Figure 2-2. Diagrammatic representation of van Diik's
news macrostructure









They offer two diagrammatic representations of the

inverted pyramid: the "traditional" inverted pyramid (Figure

2-3) and the "modified" pyramid (Figure 2-4).

For the purposes of this study, Newsom and Wollert's

modified inverted pyramid structure will be adopted as the

typical structure for a breaking hard news story in an

American newspaper. Unlike the van Dijk structure, the

Newsom and Wollert modified pyramid does not include any

subjective elements such as comments on or analyses of the

events contained in the story; the absence of these elements

is far more typical of American news stories. Second, the

Newsom and Wollert modified pyramid includes quotes and the

possibility of a secondary theme in the story, which more

complex news stories often contain; the traditional pyramid

does not accommodate these elements. In this respect, the

Newsom and Wollert pyramid is a more useful descriptor than

the Fedler pyramid, which makes a provision for quotes but

not for a secondary theme within a story.

Green (1979) suggested that a "typical" news story

organization can, in fact, be detected, but that the

organization hampers comprehension instead of facilitating

it. The typical news story, in Green's view, is

"disorganized and undirected, unconnected and jumbled up,

with the result that it is difficult to follow" (p. 5).












Who What When Where Why How 16 to 25 words

One sentence connecting one element of the lead to the body

Development of the most important WWWWWH elements of the lead

Second most important element of WWWWWH

Further development of most important element

Other elements.

The least important facts of the story-nothing new introduced


Lead 5W&H


Tie-In


Most Important


2nd Most Important


Other



Least


Figure 2-3.


LEAD:

TIE-IN:

BODY:


Newsom & Wollert's traditional inverted
pyramid







LEAD:



TIE-IN:

1st Graph:


2nd Graph:



3rd Graph:

4th Graph:


36
Major theme, could be significance of event, rather than fact
May be two sentences
May not include 5W&H

The left-overs of the 5W&H not mentioned in the lead

Explication of the lead incident, quote, meaning, or
background of event-how something came to be

Additional information about most important fact of lead
Something to give credibility or significance to lead
information

Secondary theme or supporting documentation for the lead

Any other details, in order of significance to lead








LEAD


Documentation or Explication=Background or History


Elaboration of Lead


Secondary Theme

or

Supporting Facts, Quotes


Least Significant



Details


Figure 2-4. Newsom and Wolert's modified inverted pyramid









She recommends a complete overhaul of the guidelines

reporters follow to shape their stories in favor of a

structure that would ease comprehension.

Although the above analyses have revealed evidence of

an underlying news story structure, Thorndyke (1977) found

that altering the structure of a news story did not

significantly influence readers' recall or comprehension of

the content, the implication being that the structuring of a

news story does not consistently affect the processing of

information contained therein, contrary to the similar

studies of this nature that have been conducted using

narrative and expository text. Thorndyke, however, did not

identify a standardized news or narrative structure in his

experiment, and thus the scrambling of stories in his study

was not systematic, which may render his results less than

definitive.

House (1984) posited that the linguistic complexity of

a news story influenced readers' recall and comprehension

far more than did the structure of the story. He found that

in the case of television news stories, linguistic

complexity was indeed a better predictor of recall and

comprehension than was story structure. However, the

inverted pyramid structuring of a story in fact lends itself

to a lower level of linguistic complexity than would be

found in a narrative or expository story due to the absence









of cohesive devices, connectives, and transitions in

inverted pyramid stories.

Nolan (1989) found that when a news story was rewritten

to follow a chronological order, the gist of the story was

better recalled by subjects who read it in the inverted

pyramid form.

More research into this aspect of the nature of news

stories and the processing of news content is needed at this

juncture. Conventional perspectives and some empirical

evidence support the concept of an underlying structural

grammar for news stories. But to what extent does this

structuring influence readers' interaction with printed

news? Are stories which conform to the grammar more easily

comprehended and recalled than stories which do not? Would

familiarity with the structure of news stories increase

readers' comprehension and recall of news? Concomitantly,

if news stories were written to conform to structures with

which readers were already very familiar--e.g. a narrative

or expository structure--would recall and comprehension

improve?

The implications of research of this nature would be

multifold. Identification of a text structure which

significantly influenced comprehension and recall of news

might revolutionize the way newswriting is taught in

journalism curricula. Several studies have been conducted

to assess the influence of newspaper reading on reading










skills (cf. Stetson, 1977; Heitzman, 1979; Cheyney, 1984),

but the schematic structures of news stories and their use

by readers to facilitate comprehension and recall have not

been incorporated into educational programs such as

Newspapers in Education. Thus, instruction on news grammars

in reading classrooms and literacy education programs--

particularly those in which newspapers are used as teaching

tools--could enhance readers' use of newspapers in the

context of their daily lives as a direct result of increased

comprehension and recall of news stories' content.


Limitations of the Schema Concept


Although cognitive models, particularly those utilizing

the concept of schema, provide a comprehensive and useful

framework within which to study information processing

(Lachman, Lachman, & Butterfield, 1979), various critics of

schema theory have pointed out its limitations as a research

paradigm. The research conducted in this dissertation could

not be fully and critically evaluated without some

discussion of these limitations and their possible effects

on the results of this study.

Schema theory is perhaps best characterized as a form

of causal process theory, defined as "a set of descriptions

of causal processes" (Reynolds, 1971, p. 11). This form of

theory should incorporate (a) a set of definitions,

including definitions of theoretical concepts, using nominal









and operational definitions; (b) a set of existence

statements describing the situations in which the causal

processes are expected to occur; and (c) a set of causal

statements that describe the effect of one or more

independent variables on one or more dependent variables

(Reynolds, 1971, p. 97).

These three conditions have been met in the case of

schema theory. (1) The term "schema" has been defined in a

variety of ways, using both primitive and derived terms; some

of these nominal definitions have been presented earlier in

this work (see Chapter 1). (2) Schemas are thought to guide

information processing in virtually any situation requiring

cognitive activity. (3) Schema theory describes the way

cognitive structures cause information to be assimilated,

stored, and later retrieved. These cognitive structures are

posited to affect such dependent variables as thinking,

perception, comprehension, memory, information gain, and

concept formation.

Fiske and Linville (1980) evaluate schema theory

according to attributes of a good theory such as predictive

capability, link to observables, and heuristic value. While

schemas have good predictive power and tremendous heuristic

provocativeness, as is exemplified by the numerous studies

predicated on the schema concept, the link between schemas

and observable entities remains tenuous. As Fiske and

Linville observe, "There is no manipulation check for a









schema" (p. 547). This fact remains the most significant

limitation of schema theory: because no method of measuring

a schema is consensually accepted at present, "schema" is

still considered an abstract and vague concept.

A second criticism hinges on the idea that the schema

concept cannot be falsified because a schema can be used to

explain virtually any experimental result, even results that

contradict one another. In theory testing, as described by

Popper (1963), the theory needs to be weighed in relation to

empirical findings which constitute attempts to falsify the

theory. Reynolds (1971) observes that a theory can best be

refined by testing axioms or statements in the theory which

are most likely to be false; when empirical findings refute

a theoretical statement, the theory is modified and

improved. However, the failure of empirical findings to

refute the causal process statements implicit in schema

theory should not constitute an automatic indictment of the

theory. Rather, embeddeddd in a well-specified theory of

process, the schema construct becomes more clear,

consistent, powerful, and thus more falsifiable" (Fiske &

Linville, 1980, p. 546).

According to Fiske and Linville (1980), some critics

claim that schema theory explains phenomena already

adequately explained by attitude and attribution theory--

i.e., that an individual's schema for something is simply

another word for his/her attitude toward it or a way of









describing attributions made about it. However, as these

authors point out, the schema can be thought of as a

metaconstruct which explains both attitude formation and

attribution, thus providing a framework within which to

study the internal processes guiding attitude change and

behavior. Rather than reiterating old findings, schema

theory actually presents new conceptualizations of

previously-observed phenomena.

In short, it would appear that schema theory provides a

distinctively new orientation to the study of cognitive

processes. New research questions and strategies have been

generated from the study of schematic information

processing, and explanations for previously unexplained

phenomena have been established. On the basis of these

criteria, schema theory can be accepted as a paradigm to be

used to understand and explain human cognition.


Predicted Associations


The theory and research findings summarized in this

chapter point to a number of empirical relationships that

were explored in some depth in this study. The schematic

structure of text has been shown to significantly affect

readers' recall and comprehension of the information

contained therein; similarly, readers' familiarity with text

structures--i.e., the strength of their text schemas--has

been demonstrated to affect their comprehension and recall









of the text information. The extent to which these

relationships hold true in the case of printed news messages

was the focus of the present research.


Nominal Definitions


To clarify the method and hypotheses employed in this

study, explicit definitions of the concepts under

investigation should first be provided.

Schema

The concept of schema forms the crux of this study;

while definitions and descriptions of this concept abound,

as illustrated in Chapter I, above, these definitions differ

only slightly; researchers seem generally to share an

agreement regarding the notion that the term "schema" refers

to a malleable cognitive structure representing generic

knowledge. The definition of schema used by Graesser and

Nakamura (1982) seems to express explicitly and concisely

the nature and function of schemas and thus will be the

definition adopted for this study. Thus, a schema will

hereinafter be defined as a dynamic, generic knowledge

structure that guides interpretation, inferences,

expectations, and attention (see Graesser & Nakamura, 1982,

pp. 60-61).










Text schemas and text structures


The specific type of schema known as a text schema

bears particular relevance to this study, along with the

related concept of a text structure or text grammar. The

term "text structure" refers to the underlying

organizational pattern of a given text; the representation

of this pattern in the reader's mind is the text schema.

Mandler and Johnson (1977) define a story schema as "an

idealized internal representation of the parts of a typical

story and the relationships among those parts" (p. 111).

Stein and Glenn (1979) describe a story schema as "the

underlying structure used to comprehend the informational

units in a story and the relations that occur between the

units" (p. 53). This notion of a cognitive model

representing the structure of a story can be applied to

other types of written text also. Therefore, hereinafter a

text schema will be defined as an idealized mental

representation of the informational units in a typical

example of a particular type of text and the relationships

among those units. Narrative, or story, schemas, expository

text schemas, and news story schemas will be studied in this

investigation.

Stein and Glenn (1978) noted, "Stories can be described

in terms of a hierarchical network of categories and the

logical relations that exist between these categories" (p.

58).







45

This underlying organizational structure of a text will

be identified in this work as the text structure or the text

grammar (the two terms will be used interchangeably).

Recall and comprehension

Recall and comprehension are the dependent variables of

interest in this study. Both terms encompass a wide variety

of cognitive phenomena. However, the two constructs are

closely linked. Van Dijk (1987) observes that "one result

of understanding a text is a representation of the meaning

of the text in (episodic) memory" (p. 165), the direct

implication being that text comprehension always results in

the storage of information in long-term memory for later

retrieval, i.e. text comprehension always precedes long-term

recall of text information. Voss (1984) corroborates this

notion. He writes

While reading, the individual is assumed to interpret
the text contents in terms of his or her own knowledge,
interests, and attitude. During the interpretive
process the individual develops a representation of the
contents of the text. Learning is thus presumed to
involve the storage of information via the development
of the representation. (p. 197) (emphasis added)


Irwin (1986) describes comprehension as comprising

several processes that proceed simultaneously:

microprocesses, involving "[t]he initial chunking and

selective recall of individual idea units within individual

sentences" (p. 3) as well as integrative processing, in

which the relationships between clauses and sentences are

inferred; and macroprocesses, involving elaborative and









metacognitive processes. The ultimate result of these

comprehension processes is a good representation of the

text's ideas in memory.

Thus, separating comprehension from memory as two

distinct constructs gives rise to some difficulties.

Nevertheless, the inferential and elaborative aspects of the

comprehension process do distinguish it from the phenomenon

of storing literal information drawn from a text.

Recall. As Belli (1986) observes, rival psychological

theories have resulted in very different interpretations of

the memory process. The mechanistic model of memory, for

example, views it as a passive process, whereas schema-based

models regard memory as an active, adaptive operation. The

latter position will be adopted for the purposes of this

study.

Memory is generally measured as recall, a term which

also possesses different meanings in different contexts. In

the mass communication literature, recall is further

classified into aided and unaided recall. Katz, Adoni, and

Parness (1977) refer to unaided recall as "spontaneous

recall" (p. 232). British psychologist Martin Le Voi, on

the other hand, terms it "free recall" (1986, p. 105) and

describes the process as happening in a situation where "the

subject is free to recall any items and create and use

helpful cues in any way he or she wishes" (p. 105).

Generally, unaided or free recall means the unprompted









remembrance of information; aided recall, on the contrary,

refers to the process of remembering information in a

situation where prompts or cues are provided. Le Voi calls

this latter phenomenon cuedd recall" (p. 106). He notes

that models of memory based on the encoding specificity

principle (ESP) make no distinction between cued recall and

recognition.

To avoid any confusion, hereinafter unaided or free

recall will simply be termed "recall" while aided or cued

recall will be termed "recognition".

In this study, the research question was framed in

terms of long-term benefits to the reader from the

assimilation of information contained in printed news

stories. Thus, recognition is not of as great interest as

recall. In addition, long-term recall is of greater

significance in this investigation than short-term recall.

Nevertheless, both short-term and long-term recall were

measured.

Comprehension. Irwin (1986) defines comprehension as

the process of using one's own prior experiences
(reader context) and the writer's cues (text context)
to infer the author's intended meaning. (p. 9)


The assessment of text comprehension has traditionally

been effected via the use of text-based questions (see

Trabasso, van den Broek, & Liu, 1988). Comprehension in this

experiment was assessed using a questionnaire that measured

subjects' literal, inferential, and evaluative processing of









the stimulus texts. Literal comprehension refers to the

retention of facts from a text; inferential comprehension

requires the reader to use his or her prior knowledge in

conjunction with information in the text to construct

meaning from the text; and evaluative comprehension occurs

when the reader is able to formulate some judgment about

information contained in text.

Literal comprehension may be assessed using textually

explicit questions, defined by Pearson and Johnson (1978) as

questions having "obvious answers right there on the page"

(p. 157). Inferential comprehension is measured through the

use of textually implicit questions. "Comprehension is

regarded as textually implicit if there is at least one step

of logical or pragmatic inferring necessary to get from the

question to the response and both question and response are

derived from the text" (Pearson & Johnson, 1978, p. 161).

Evaluative comprehension is assessed by means of scriptally

implicit questions:

Scriptal comprehension .. occurs when a reader gives
an answer that had to come from prior knowledge (it is
not there in the text) to a question that is at least
related to the text (that is, there would be no reason
to ask the question if the text were not there). It is
similar to textually implicit comprehension in that an
inference is involved; however, it is different in that
the data base for the inference is in the reader's
head, not on the page. (Pearson & Johnson, 1978, p.
162)













CHAPTER 3
METHOD


To explore the connection between the schematic

organization of news stories and the receiver's cognitions

regarding the news message, an experimental study of the

relationships between these variables was undertaken.

Green's (1979) hypothesis that the organization of news

stories hinders comprehension and recall of the message was

empirically tested; in addition, the significance of the

existence of a reader's schema for news story structure was

investigated under experimental conditions.

The most commonly encountered types of text

organization are the narrative or story grammar and the

expository text structure. The story grammar forms the

basic framework of all simple stories (see Handler &

Johnson, 1977; Stein & Glenn, 1978). While many types of

nonfiction text structures have been identified, Bartlett

(1978) found that the expository structure, in which facts

are organized in terms of main points and supporting

details, is used most frequently in nonfiction text. Thus,

in schema theoretic terms, it would appear that these two

organizational patterns would be the most familiar to

readers.









The simple story grammar and the expository text

structure were thus selected as the text grammars with which

to compare the inverted pyramid news story structure.

Readers' schemas for these patterns were also measured to

gauge the extent to which strength of text schema affected

information processing from a printed news story.


Hypotheses

This study investigated the influence of text grammars,

the underlying organizational structures of text passages,

on readers' recall and comprehension of passage content.

Generally, it was hypothesized that narrative and expository

text grammars would be more conducive to high recall and

comprehension than the news story grammar.


The following hypotheses were tested:

HI: A text passage organized according to a narrative story

grammar will be better remembered in the short term

than a passage organized according to an expository

text grammar, which in turn will be better remembered

in the short term than a passage organized according to

a news story grammar.

H2: A text passage organized according to a narrative story

grammar will be better remembered in the long term than

a passage organized according to an expository text

grammar, which in turn will be better remembered in the







51

long term than a passage organized according to a news

story grammar.

H3: A text passage organized according to a narrative story

grammar will be better comprehended than a passage

organized according to an expository text grammar,

which in turn will be better comprehended than a

passage organized according to a news story grammar.



The following hypotheses were postulated to find a

theoretical basis for explaining the results of the above

investigations:



H4: Readers with highly developed schemas for a particular

text structure will have higher recall of that type of

text than readers with weak schemas for that structure.

H5: Readers with highly developed schemas for a particular

text structure will have better comprehension of that

type of text than readers with weak schemas for that

structure.


Operational Definitions


The Independent Variables


Short-term and long-term recall of text and text

comprehension were hypothesized to vary with the underlying

structure of a text. Thus, the principal independent

variable in this study was text structure, which was









manipulated to assess its effects on the cognitions under

examination. Readers' text schemas were also hypothesized

to affect their recall and comprehension of text in the

various structural conditions.

Schematic structure of text

The variable manipulated to predict readers' recall of

a news message was the schematic structure of a stimulus

hard news story. This structure was systematically varied

so as to measure fluctuations in recall that might result

from changes in the news story structure.

In general, news writers in the United States follow

Associated Press guidelines for the organization of news

story material. Stimulus news stories were generated by

selecting two front-page hard news AP stories from a

national newspaper according to how well they typified a

hard news story as it is defined by McCombs, Shaw and Grey

(1979) (see Footnote 2 in the preceding chapter).

Stimulus news stories were rewritten twice: once to

follow the Mandler & Johnson (1977) narrative grammar and

again to follow the expository/attribution text structure

outlined by Meyer (1975), both described in an earlier

chapter. The purpose of the rewriting was to provide

stimulus materials to test which, if any, structural pattern

contributes most to increasing levels of comprehension and

recall of the passage's content.









The news stories chosen as experimental stimuli were

rewritten to follow the patterns for narrative and

expository text as closely as possible without significantly

altering the content, length or readability level of the

passages (see Table 3-1). The content of the stories was

such that they could not be rewritten to follow exactly the

story or expository text grammars, but the narrative and

expository versions produced for use in this experiment were

reasonably close facsimiles of the ideal structures.

Text schemas

A second independent variable hypothesized to predict

variations in readers' comprehension and recall of text was

the strength of their schemas for the particular pattern of

organization inherent in the text. This factor is not,

strictly speaking, an independent variable in that it was

not experimentally manipulated. However, since it was

hypothesized to be a predictor of changes in recall and

comprehension, it was analyzed as an independent variable in

this study. It has been shown that recognition of text

patterns increases recall and comprehension (Mandler, 1978;

Fitzgerald & Spiegel, 1983). Wicks (1986) points out,

"Schema theory suggests that individuals possessing a well

defined schema in [a] domain will have more success at

recall of related information (p. 7)."









54
Table 3-1

Descriptive statistics on the stimulus passages used to

measure recall and comprehension









Wicks notes that generally schemas have been measured

either by means of survey questionnaires or through

experimentation, adding:

Most of the studies aimed at demonstrating the
presence of a schema rely on measurement approaches
that test recall, evaluate inferential capabilities and
assess the tendency of an individual to cluster related
concepts. (p. 4)
In this study, the method of measurement used by Bower,

Black, and Turner (1979) and Kinney (1984) was adopted: The

subjects' familiarity with different text structures was

assessed by their responses to a task in which they were

instructed to reconstruct scrambled passages to form well-

ordered, typical news, narrative, or expository texts,

depending on which type of scrambled passage they were

given. The scrambling of the stimulus passages was

systematic in that each text passage was broken down into

its nodes according to the text structure on which it was

based. Each subject was randomly assigned to one of three

structure conditions (news, narrative, or expository).

Again, the passages used were similar in terms of

length and readability level, although the content differed

(see Table 3-2).

The Dependent Variables

The response variables hypothesized to change with the

structural organization of the stimulus text and with

readers' schemas for that structural organization were

recall and comprehension of the content of the text. As

indicated in the previous chapter, a substantial body of ex-









perimental research indicates that variations in text

organization result in significant changes in recall of both

fiction and nonfiction passages; these findings provided the

basis for the present experiment, in which a news story was

used as the primary stimulus for further investigations

along these lines


Recall

Typically, memory for news.is measured as either recall

or recognition. Recognition measures include multiple-

choice questionnaires and retelling tasks in which subjects

are prompted to remember specific pieces of information.

Recall is frequently measured more informally, usually by

means of a request to "write down brief descriptions" of

what is recalled (Gunter, 1980) or requests for verbal

descriptions of the stimulus passages (Edwardson, Kent, &

McConnell, 1985).

In the present experiment, recall of the stimulus

passages was measured according to the procedure developed

by Meyer (1975), adapted by Taylor (1980) and Taylor and

Samuels (1983),and later used by McGee (1982) for scoring

recall of expository text--a method similar to the scoring

procedure followed by Mandler and Johnson (1977) for

measuring recall of narrative text. After being given an

interference task in which they provided the researcher with








57
Table 3-2

Descriptive statistics on the stimulus passages used to

measure strength of text schema







58

demographic information and answered a test evaluating their

reading level (the West Informal Reading Evaluation; West,

1978), subjects were asked to write down an account of the

stimulus passage they had read, keeping as close to the

original version as possible. The recalled texts were

scored by comparing them to the originals on the basis of

the proportion of elements of the initial passage recalled

per structural node. The sequencing of the recalled

propositions was not analyzed in this experiment, since

sensitivity to text organization was assessed using the text

schema instrument. A simple score based on the overall

proportion of the stimulus passage recalled was judged to be

sufficient. The overall proportion of terminal nodes

recalled was computed as a percentage score.


Comprehension

Comprehension was measured on the basis of nine

questions. Questioning is a standard method of gauging

comprehension (see Anderson & Biddle, 1975; Johnson, 1983;

Wilten, 1987; Trabasso, et al., 1988). The types of

questions used were loosely based on Pearson and Johnson's

description of textually explicit and scriptally implicit

questions (Pearson & Johnson, 1978) as well as on the

comprehension questions used in Johns' (1988) Basic Reading

Inventory, a standardized informal reading evaluation

instrument. Five of the nine questions were literal,

eliciting information based on main points or details that







59

could be found directly in the text. Of the remaining four

questions, two were evaluative, requiring the reader to

assess a situation; one was inferential, calling on the

reader's prior knowledge of the situation; and one was a

global question asking for a summarization of the main point

of the stimulus passage.

A tenth question was included which asked, "How well do

you feel you understood the story?" This general self-

evaluative measure was based on the concept of comprehension

used by Housel (1984) and Thorndyke (1977).


Reliability and Validity of Measurement Instruments


As Selltiz, et al. (1976) point out, "The quality of

research depends not only on the adequacy of the research

design but also on the quality of the measurement procedures

employed" (p. 160). Good measurement instruments must be

dependable measures of the target concept--i.e., they must

be as free as possible from random error caused by testing

conditions or inconsistencies among scorers or observers.

In addition, they must accurately identify and measure the

concept in question. The two principal properties of an

instrument that affect its usefulnesss as a measurement tool

are its reliability and its validity.

Reliability

Reliability of a measurement instrument refers to

the steadiness of scores on the instrument. Reliability may







60
be measured in terms of stability, or consistency of scores

over time; internal consistency, sometimes called

homogeneity--the similarity of items within a test or other

instrument; and equivalence, or consistency across different

forms of the same instrument. This third aspect of

reliability becomes important only when different forms of

an instrument are being used to measure the same construct.

The reliability of the instruments used in this study

was assessed in terms of stability and equivalence.

Reliability of the instruments was measured using the

alternate forms method. Twenty-four undergraduate students

at the University of Florida were asked to participate in

the reliability study. The students responded to the

various measures in the experimental sequence described

later in this chapter. Two days later, the experiment was

repeated with the same class; however, while students

remained within the same experimental condition (news,

narrative, or expository), they were given different

stimulus passages on the second day. Thus, they were

effectively given alternative forms of a single test.

A coefficient of stability and equivalence was computed

according to the formula

A5B = (A-Ma)(B-Ms)

SDA SD,

where A represents a subject's score on the first test

(Test A), B represents the subject's score on the second









test (Test B), MA represents the mean score on Test A, Me

represents the mean score on Test B, SDA represents the

standard deviation of scores on Test A, and SDB represents

the standard deviation of scores on Test B. (For a more

detailed explanation of the alternative forms method of

reliability assessment, see Walsh & Betz, 1985, pp. 50-51,

and Horvath, 1985, pp. 71-85).

Reliability coefficients for the instruments used in

this experiment are given in Table 3-3. In some cases the

reliability coefficients computed were slightly below 0.50.


Table 3-3

Reliability coefficients of measurement instruments

INSTRUMENT RELIABILITY

Schema measure

News 0.57

Narrative 1.00

Expository 0.44

Recall measure 0.44

Comprehension measure 0.46



These low coefficients could be attributed to small

size of the sample used in the reliability tests; the

instruments weregenerally considered acceptably reliable.

Selltiz, et al. (1976) point out that low reliability

coefficients are not necessarily indicators of low validity

of measurement instruments (pp. 194-197). They argue that









in some cases, fluctuations in scores on measurement

instruments from one test administration to another or even

within a test are desirable in that tests that produce

extremely homogenous results are not as useful for making

fine discrimination among responses and may in fact reflect

a high degree of constant error. They note that the

assessment of reliability and validity occurs along a

continuum from convergence of scores to divergence,

depending on the correlations being computed, and that "if a

measure can be shown to be reasonably valid it must

ipso facto be reasonably reliable, since a measure with a

large error component could not show such consistent

relationships" (p. 197).


Validity

"The validity of a measuring instrument may be defined

as the extent to which differences in scores on it reflect

true differences among individuals on the characteristics

that we seek to measure" (Selltiz, Wrightsman, & Cook, 1976,

p. 169). In other words, the validity of a measure refers

to the extent to which it is a true gauge of the construct

it is supposed to measure. Here, the crucial questions

would be whether the recall instruments were accurate

measures of subjects' memory for the stimulus passages and

whether the comprehension instruments were accurate measures

of subjects' understanding of the passages' content.









Face validity

As a very superficial test of an instrument's validity,

the relevance of the instrument to the construct under

investigation should be apparent "on the face of it"

(Selltiz, et al., 1976, p. 178). Because the measurement

instruments used were derived from the stimulus passages

themselves and were constructed following the methods used

by earlier investigators of similar phenomena, the

instruments exhibited significant face validity.


Content validity

Content validity is an estimate of the extent to which

the measurement instrument is an adequate sample of the

domain or process being measured (Selltiz, et al., 1976, p.

179). Generally, content validity is assessed by submitting

the measurement instrument to the scrutiny of experts, who

verify that all facets of the construct or domain under

investigation are represented in the instrument. The

instruments used in this experiment possessed considerable

content validity because they were derived exclusively from

the stimulus passages read by the subjects, measuring recall

of each structural proposition within each passage and

comprehension of ideas contained within the passage. The

measures thus represented an adequate sample of the

processes under examination.









Construct validity

In this experiment, the dependent variables "recall"

and "comprehension" are constructs or abstractions that

describe traits possessed by the subjects--i.e., the ability

to remember and to understand text. Construct validation

refers to the process of estimating to what extent the

measurement instruments measure these latent traits.

Construct validation may be accomplished by means of

examining patterns of correlation of a measure with other

validated measures of the same trait (convergent validity)

and by showing that the trait as measured by the instrument

in question can be differentiated from other traits or

constructs (Selltiz, et al., 1979, p. 174).

Curtis and Jackson (1962) have suggested that high

correlations between measures intended to measure different

but theoretically related constructs provide evidence of

convergent validity. In this study, comprehension and long-

term recall were expected to vary together; they are

theoretically related but conceptually distinct constructs.

Their construct validity was estimated by measuring the

degree of correlation between subjects' scores on the

measure of comprehension and the measure of long-term recall

based on the same stimulus passage. The Pearson correlation

coefficient was found to be 0.33 (N=69); this correlation

was statistically significant, p = .003. Short-term recall

was measured by means of the same instrument used to assess







65

long-term recall; thus, convergent validity was established

for the comprehension and recall measures.

The instruments used to assess recall of the passages

were thus generally judged to be reliable and valid.


The Control of Possibly Confounding Variables


The dependent variables, recall and comprehension of

the informational content of text, are influenced by

numerous factors. To date, most of the research on this

process has been conducted using children or adults with

reading problems as subjects; knowledge remains scarce

regarding influences on the reading recall and comprehension

of normal adult readers.

Age has been determined to be a major factor affecting

the reading ability of children (Chall, 1983).

Developmental stages of reading ability have been found

among adults with reading difficulties (Norman & Malicky,

1987), but these are not associated with age. Thus, while

subjects' ages were noted during data collection for this

experiment, they were not taken into account when the data

were analyzed.

Factors influencing the reading and learning abilities

of adults with impaired reading facility include cultural

background, physiological influences, and educational level

(Newman, 1980). Bowen and Zintz (1977) list sociological,

physical, environmental, and psychological factors as







66

significant influences on the reading abilities of adults in

literacy programs; they also include learning ability or IQ

as an important determinant of reading skill.

In this experiment, the final subject group chosen

consisted of undergraduate students at the University of

Florida. Their ages ranged from an 18-to-24-year-old group

to a 50-to-64-year-old group. The modal age range was 18 to

24 years, with 87.5 percent of the subjects falling into

this group. Most of the subjects used in the experiment

happened to be women (89 out of 104 subjects were female).

Ninety-four of the subjects were white, six were black, two

were Asian, one was Hispanic, and one did not indicate a

racial designation. In a general sense, the group could be

seen as homogenous: little variation in age, SES,

educational background, race, or cultural background was

evident. The selection of subjects alone resulted in the

effective control of sociological, environmental, and

educational variables which may have interfered with the

experimental manipulation.

Norman, Malicky, and Fagan (1988) have pointed out that

the reading level of the adult reader could affect text

comprehension and recall. Although it could fairly safely

be assumed that because the subjects were all college

undergraduates at the same institution, their reading levels

were on a par, reading level was nonetheless measured using

the West Informal Reading Evaluation (West, 1978). Data







67

collected from the eight students reading below the college

level, as estimated by the WIRE, were not included in the

data analysis. Reading level was thus eliminated as a

confounding variable.

Schema theoretic views of reading suggest that prior

knowledge of text content strongly influences reading

comprehension and recall (Pearson, Hansen, & Gordon, 1979;

Stahl & Jacobson, 1986; Perin, 1988). Thus, two text

passages were used in the experiment as a verification

tactic, to determine whether the observed effects occurred

regardless of text content. Passage I was drawn from a wire

story published in The Independent Florida Alligator. The

original article referred to incidents in Beijing, China, in

May 1989, but the setting was changed to Paramaraibo,

capital of the South American country of Surinam. All names

in the passage were changed. Passage II was a brief wire

article about a captive-breeding program to protect the

endangered Florida panther.

Within each text passage condition, the different

structural versions were kept as similar as possible in

terms of their length, average sentence length, and

readability (calculated according to the Fry formula

conceived by Edward Fry, 1977), so that any influences on

recall and comprehension arising from these factors might be

minimized. Only the passages' structures were varied.









Descriptive statistics pertaining to these characteristics

of the stimulus passages are provided in Table 3-1.

The content of the two passages precluded rewriting to

exactly follow the narrative or expository text grammars,

but these were approximated as well as possible. The

narrative version of the political uprising story fell short

of representing a true story in that it lacked a single

protagonist--the political demonstrators filled that role en

masse. In the panther story, a goal was implied in the

setting in that the protagonist's desire to combat a problem

was tacitly expressed in the first sentence. However,

generally speaking, the passages adhered to the Handler and

Johnson (1977) story grammar in their narrative forms and to

the Meyer (1975) expository/attribution grammar in their

expository forms.


The Experimental Design


The overall experimental design comprised a single-

factor posttest-only procedure. The manipulated variable

was text structure; the response variables were short-term

recall, long-term recall, and comprehension. The strength

of subjects' text schemas for each of the structures used

was also measured as a quasi-independent variable. The

experiment consisted of six tasks.









Subjects


The power of an experiment is the probability of

rejecting the null hypothesis if the null is false. This

probability is increased by minimizing the chances of making

a Type II error by finding support for a false null

hypothesis. The power of an experiment is determined by the

size of the sample of the subject population (see Winer, p.

104). Fifteen subjects per cell were computed to be

required to minimize Type II error at a 0.05 level of

significance. Because there were six cells in the design,

90 subjects were needed for this experiment.

Subjects were undergraduate students at the University

of Florida, drawn from senior-level classes in journalism,

education, and speech communication. However, not all

subjects were majoring in these disciplines. After the

elimination of the poor readers, one hundred and four

students participated in this study. All students were

juniors or seniors. Subjects' ages ranged from 18 to 64.










Table 3-4


Male 15
Female 89


White
Black
Asian
Hispanic
Other

18-24
25-34
35-49
50-64


Some high school
High school diploma
Some college
Associate/vocational
degree
Bachelor's degree
Graduate/professional
degree
Other


INCOME: Less than $6,000
$ 6,000-$11,999
$12,000-$17,999
$18,000-$23,999
$24,000-$29,999
$30,000-$35,999
$36,000-$41,999
$42,000-$47,999


$48,000-$53,999
$54,000-$59,999
$60,000 or more

(Missing = 3)


N=104

SEX:


RACE:


AGE:


EDUCATION:


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Method


Two stimulus news stories were rewritten to follow

three schematic structures: (a) the prototypical Newsom and

Wollert (1988) "modified inverted pyramid" news structure,

(b) the Mandler and Johnson (1977) story grammar, and (c)

the expository/attribution text structure described by Meyer

(1975).

Subjects were randomly assigned to one of the six

passage conditions--Passage I news, Passage I narrative,

Passage I expository, Passage II news, Passage II narrative,

or Passage II expository.

Each subject received a packet containing the

measurement instruments. All measurement instruments and

stimulus passages are included in Appendices A and B.

Subjects were first asked to complete the Media Use

Survey.

Subjects were then presented with one of the two

stimulus passages in one of the three organizational

patterns. They were given sufficient time to read the

passages; the stimuli were then removed.

Subjects were next asked to complete a multiple-choice

questionnaire requesting demographic information, and then

they were given the WIRE test.

Next, subjects were tested for strength of text schema

by means of an unscrambling task based on three passages

constructed according to prototypical narrative, news, and









expository structures. These passages were written by the

author; the narrative story was based on the fable "The Owl

Who Was God" by James Thurber (Thurber, 1941), the

expository text was based on a passage used in the 1978

Florida Literacy Test (Morrison, 1978), and the news story

was an Associated Press story. Each subject was given a

labeled envelope containing a number of slips of paper; each

scrap of paper was printed with a node from the scrambled

stimulus passage. Subjects were instructed to organize the

pieces of paper so that they formed a typical text passage

of the type printed on the front of the envelope--either

news, narrative ("story"), or expository ("textbook"). The

structure of the passage used for the unscrambling task

corresponded to the structure of the initial stimulus

passage that each subject read. Once the subjects had

arranged the pieces of the passage to their satisfaction,

they were asked to number the scraps in sequence. Subjects'

sequencing of each passage was compared to the original,

parsed version of the passage, and a difference score was

computed to determine the correlation between subjects'

organization of the nodes and the actual, prototypical

organization. Subjects' reorganizations of the passage were

scored by comparing the relative order of propositions in

the subject-generated passages to the original, correctly

organized passages. Scores were computed by calculating

rank-order correlation coefficients (Spearman's rho)









comparing subjects' ranking of the propositions to the

rankings in the original passages (a full account of the

scoring procedure is given in Appendix C; also see Hays,

1963, p. 645, for a more complete description of the

calculation of difference scores and their use in computing

rank-order correlation coefficients).

Various methods may be applied to the calculation of

rank-order correlations. Perhaps the simplest way to

calculate the proportion of pairs of items having the same

relative position in two rankings is a graphic method. In

this method, the objects ranked are listed, once in the

order of the first ranking, and once in the order of the

second. Then straight lines are drawn connecting the same

objects in the two parallel rankings. This method, however,

is time-consuming, and was therefore rejected in favor of

the computation of difference scores based on calculating

the numerical difference between two rankings xi and y; ,

such that the difference score D; = x; y1 and squaring

the result. The sum of the squared differences was then

used in the following formula to compute Spearman's rho, the

rank order correlation coefficient:

r = 1- 6 Di

[N(Nz 1)

After these three distractor tasks, subjects were asked

to recall the stimulus passages and write them down using

language as close to the originals as possible. Their







74

instructions included the caveat that if they were not able

to remember the original wording of the passage,

approximations were permissible.

Finally, subjects were asked to answer the

comprehension questionnaire.

The recall instrument was administered one week later

to the same subjects. Subjects were asked to recall the

passage they had read and write it down using language as

close to the original as possible.

Recalls were scored by parsing the subject-generated

passages and recording the number of text elements recalled

from the original for each node in the appropriate text

grammar. These numbers were converted to percentages. A

full explanation and example of the scoring procedure is

given in Appendix C.


Analysis


To determine the overall effects of altering the

structure of the stimulus news stories, an analysis of

variance using the fixed-effects model was conducted to

compare the mean recall and comprehension scores across the

three text structure conditions for each of the two

passages. Although the hypotheses, as stated above, focused

on comparisons between pairs of means, the analyses of

variance were efficient methods of summarizing the results.

Each hypothesis was then tested by means of a t-test









comparing mean scores on the dependent variables as

specified in the hypothesis.

All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS-X.

The level of significance generally used in this study

was = .05, although if R lay between .05 and .10, the

relationship was judged to be statistically significant.

Rejecting the null hypothesis at the .05 level indicates

that if the null were true, the probability would be less

than .05 of obtaining a test statistic value as favorable to

the alternative hypothesis as the one observed. This

research was in a sense exploratory in that the method and

the measurement instruments were developed for this study

and had not been refined through years of experimentation;

thus, the significance levels used were to some extent

flexible.


Some Considerations: Threats to External
and Internal Validity


As is the problem with most experiments conducted in

controlled conditions, any results obtained cannot easily be

generalized beyond the laboratory situation, which presents

a serious, and inevitable, threat to the external validity

of the proposed study.

However, to compensate for this inherent flaw in the

proposed method, threats to internal validity were minimized

by randomizing subjects' assignment to the six experimental

conditions, standardizing stimuli and experimental









conditions, and controlling for variables which may have

interfered with the relationship being studied. These steps

helped ensure that the manipulation of the independent

variable was the cause of any observed variation in the

dependent variables.

Internal validity in many experiments can be reduced

because of maturation of subjects, mortality or attrition of

the subject pool, history (i.e. some unexpected factor which

may coincide with the independent variable and produce a

similar effect), or reaction to a pretest. Since the

proposed experiment was conducted within a fairly short

time, it can be assumed that maturation, mortality, and

history did not threaten this particular experiment. No

stories similar to the stimulus passages appeared in local

newspapers during that period. A pretest that may have

interfered with performance on the measures of the dependent

variables was not administered, so this threat to internal

validity may also be ruled out; the absence of a pretest

also eliminates any possibility of a regression toward the

mean in scores on the dependent variable measures.

Any threat to internal validity that may be due to

inadequacy of the measurement instruments was minimized by

testing all measures for reliability and validity before

they were used. Some attrition occurred between the

administration of the first set of instruments and the test








77
of long-term recall, which may have affected the validity of

these results to some extent.















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CHAPTER 4
RESULTS AND ANALYSIS


An investigation was conducted to determine whether

altering the underlying organizational structure of a

printed news passage would affect readers' recall and

comprehension of the information contained in it. The

independent variable in this experiment was the text

structure of the passage, which was altered to follow a

typical news, narrative, or expository structure. The

dependent variables were short-term recall, long-term

recall, and comprehension of the passage's informational

content.

Two passages were used as stimuli in the experiment.

Subjects were randomly assigned to read either the passage

about a captive-breeding program to protect the Florida

panther or the passage about a political uprising in

Surinam.


General Results


The data were analyzed to test the hypotheses proposed

in Chapter 3. Initially, separate one-way analyses of

variance were conducted for each passage to compare the mean

recall and comprehension scores of subjects in each

experimental condition and summarize the observed results.









Detailed descriptions of these analyses as well as the

statistics used to test each hypothesis are given below.

Manipulating the structure of the stimulus stories had

somewhat different effects on each of the dependent

variables.

Overall, it appeared that the subjects' short-term

recall of the passages was significantly influenced by

manipulation of the text structure, F (2,50) = 2.881, R =

.065 for the panther passage and F (2,45) = 3.529, E = .038

for the political uprising passage (Table 4-1).

However, subjects' comprehension of the two passages,

as measured by the ten-item questionnaire described in

Chapter 3, did not appear to be significantly affected by

the experimental manipulation overall, F (2,50) = 1.985, E =

.148 for the panther passage and F (2,45) = 0.179, E = .836

for the political uprising passage (Table 4-2).

Long-term recall appeared to be significantly affected

only in the case of the panther passage, E (2,35) = 3.102, E

= .057; no significant differences were found for the

political uprising passage, F (2, 25) = 0.907, E = 0.416

(Table 4-3).










Table 4-1

Analysis of variance of short-term recall across text
structure

SOURCE OF SUM OF DF MEAN F SIG
VARIATION SQUARES SQUARE OF F

Panther Passage


Text
Structure

Residual

Total


1424.29

12607.04

14031.33


712.14 2.881 .065

247.19

264.74


Political Uprising Passage


Text
Structure

Residual

Total


898.88

5858.67

6757.55


449.44 3.529 .038

127.46

140.78










Table 4-2

Analysis of variance of comprehension across text structure

SOURCE OF SUM OF DF MEAN F SIG
VARIATION SQUARES SQUARE OF F

Panther passage


Text
Structure

Residual

Total


Text
Structure

Residual

Total


2471.57 2 1235.78 1.985 .148

32380.53 52 622.70

34852.10 54 645.40

Political Uprising Passage


207.69

26641.98

26849.67


2 103.84

46 579.17

48 559.36


.179 .836










Table 4-3

Analysis of variance
structure

SOURCE OF SUM OF
VARIATION SQUARES


of lanar-term recall acrnss te~t


DF MEAN
SQUARE

Panther Passage


F SIG
OF F


Te4xt
Structure

Residual

Total


Text
Structure

Residual

Total


1007.14 2 503.57 3.102 .057

6006.75 37 162.34

7013.90 39 179.84

Political Uprising Passage


155.64

2231.53

2387.172


77.82

85.82

85.25


.907 .416


These broad trends were investigated in terms of the

experimental hypotheses expressed in Chapter 3 by conducting

a series of t-tests to study the differences in mean scores

on the dependent variables between each pair of experimental

groups. The results of these tests are discussed in the

following sections.


Effects of Altering the Text Structure on Short-Term Recall


HI: A text passage written to follow a narrative story

grammar will be better remembered in the short term

than the same passage organized according to an

expository text grammar or a news story grammar;


of -~~~... recal ac-ros... text










similarly, a text passage organized according to an

expository text grammar will be better remembered than

the same passage organized according to a news story

grammar.

The hypothesis predicting associations between the text

structure of a passage and short-term recall was, overall,

supported.

This hypothesis was tested by comparing the mean short-

term recall scores of subjects who read the narrative

version of each of the two stimulus text passages to the

mean short-term recall scores of subjects who read the

expository and news versions of each of the two stimulus

passages.

Results of the t-tests for each text condition are

described below and shown in Tables 4-4 through 4-6.


Narrative Versus News Grammars


Panther passage

The mean short-term recall score of subjects who read

the narrative version of the panther passage was

significantly higher (M = 31.7) than the mean score of

subjects who read the news version of this passage (M =

22.3), t (35) = 2.06, p = 0.024.

Political uprising passage

The data for the political uprising passage paralleled

the findings for subjects who read the panther passage.










Those subjects who read the narrative version of the

political uprising passage also displayed better short-term

recall of the passage's content than did subjects who read

the news version of this passage. The mean short-term

recall score of subjects who read the narrative version was

25.3, while the mean recall score of the group that read the

news version was 14.9. The t-test indicated a significant

difference between these two groups, t (33) = 2.59, R =

0.007.


Table 4-4

Comparison of mean short-term recall scores of narrative
story group with news story group

N MEAN SD SE T DF

Panther Passage

Narrative 17 31.7 12.83 3.11 2.06 33 .
News 18 22.3 13.83 3.26

Political Uprising Passage

Narrative 18 25.3 14.34 3.40 2.59 31 .
News 15 14.9 6.50 1.68


024


007


Thus, in the case of both text passage conditions, the

narrative structure appeared to result in better short-term

recall of the passages' content than the news version.

Hypothesis 1 was supported.


Expository Versus News Grammars


Again, separate t-tests were performed for subjects in

each text passage condition to compare the mean short-term







87

recall scores of subjects who read the expository version of

each passage with those of subjects who read the news

version of each passage. T-test results are reported below

and given in Table 4-5.

Panther passage

The analysis showed that subjects had better short-

term recall of the passage written according to an

expository text structure (M = 34.2) than of the passage

written according to the news story structure (M = 22.3), t

(37) = 2.14, p = 0.020.

Political uprising passage

Again, in the case of the political uprising passage,

the short-term recall of the expository version of the

passage was higher (M = 21.1) than short-term recall of the

news version of the passage (M = 14.9), t (31) = 1.93, R

=0.032.

Thus, the second hypothesis was also supported by the

experimental data.


Narrative Versus Expository Grammars


A third set of t-tests was conducted to compare

subjects' short-term recall of the narrative version of each

of the two passage to their short-term recall of the

expository version of the each of the two passages. These

results are given below and shown in Table 4-6.




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IS IT ALL IN THE TELLING?: A STUDY OF THE ROLE OF TEXT SCHEMAS AND SCHEMATIC TEXT STRUCTURES IN THE RECALL AND COMPREHENSION OF PRINTED NEWS STORIES By MEENAKSHI GIGI DURHAM A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

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Copyright 1990 by Meenakshi Gigi Durham

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For Frank and for the rest of my wonderful family.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Producing one of the first doctoral dissertations from the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Communications has involved enormous struggles and, ultimately, enormous rewards. I could not have seen my way through it without the encouragement and guidance of my committee members--Dr. Leonard Tipton, Dr. Kurt Kent, Dr. Mickie Edwardson, Dr. Nora Hoover, and Dr. Tom Fillmer. I thank them individually and collectively for giving me so much of their time and erudition during the research and writing of this dissertation. Special thanks to Dr. Edwardson and Dr. Fillmer for allowing me to conduct part of my research in their undergraduate classes. Dr. Thomas Abbott and fellow-Ph.D.-student Polly Moore Shipp rallied to the cause when I cried for help with finding experimental subjects. Heartfelt thanks to both o f them for letting me into their classrooms to badger their students. Many thanks to my friends and coworkers at the Graduat e School for their understanding and sympathy, especially wh e n I was in the last throes of dissertation dementia. Dan Hanson and Sherman Martin's help with my modem and with the iv

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final printing of this work will not be soon forgotten. Julie Shih was the kindest and most generous of supervisors, allowing me time off whenever I needed it to research and write this dissertation. Special thanks to Rose Barnett for her sympathy, encouragement, and free counseling. Many thanks also to my parents (without whom I would not be in college at UF), Debbie Burke, Claire Walsh, Renee and Hamilton Williams, Vishu Kulkarni, Mona Durham, and finally to Dr. Roger Keroack for prodding me at just the right time to dislodge me from a quicksand of inertia. This dissertation is above all the product of years of unyielding love, patience, and support from my husband Frank. With all my heart, I thank him. Now he can be a doctor's husband. V

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TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS LIST OF TABLES LIST OF FIGURES ABSTRACT iv vii xi xii CHAPTER 1 GENERAL INTRODUCTION .................. 1 Research Question and Justification for This Study 1 Text Schemas and Text Structures: An Overview . . . . . . . . 2 Goal of This Research . . 3 The Concept of Schema . . . . . . 4 Definition of Schema . . . . . . 5 Functioning of Schemas . . . 6 Schema-Theoretic Information Processing and Its Application to the Mass Communication Model .... 9 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE . . . . . . 14 The Foundations of Schema Theory. . . 14 Bartlett's Experiments on Remembering 15 Minsky's Frameworks for the Representation of Knowledge . . . . . . . 19 Schema-Theoretic Approaches to Reading Comprehension. . . . . . 20 Text Structures and the Reading Process . . 22 Schemas for the Structure of News Stories . . 28 Limitations of the Schema Concept . . . 39 Predicted Associations. . . . . 42 Nominal Definitions . . . . . 43 CHAPTER 3 METHOD . . . . . 50 Hypotheses . . . . . . . . . . 5 o Operational Definitions . . . . 51 The Independent Variables . . . 55 The Dependent Variables. . . . . 58 Reliability and Validity of Measurement Instruments . . . . . . 59 Reliability . . . . . . . 59 Validity . . ......... 62 The Control of Possibly Confounding Variables . . . . . 65 The Experimental Design . . . . 68 Subjects . . . . . . . . . 6 9 Method . . . . . . . . 71 Some Considerations: Threats to External and Internal Validity. . . . 75 vi

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS . . . . . . . General Results . . . ........ Effects of Altering the Story Structure on Short-Term Recall .......... Effects of Altering the Story Structure on Long-Term Recall ........... Effects of Altering the Story Structure on Comprehension .......... Summary . . . . . . . . Short-Term Recall of Text Content: A Closer Look. . . ..... Summary of Analysis of Short-Term Recall Protocols . . ........ Some Theoretical Implications: Correspondence of Strength of Text Schema With Recall and Comprehension ..... Comprehension: A Closer Look ... Summary of In-Depth Analysis of Comprehension Scores ........ General Summary . . . . . . . . CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION . . . . . . . . . . Theoretical Implications ............ Problems Encountered and Possible Solutions .. Suggestions For Further Research. .... Implications for the Field ......... APPENDIX A MEASUREMENT INSTRUMENTS ............... APPENDIX B SCORING SHEETS APPENDIX C SCORING PROCEDURES REFERENCE LIST BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH. vii 80 80 84 88 93 97 98 109 111 130 137 138 141 141 147 150 152 157 185 203 211 223

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LIST OF TABLES Table 3-1. Descriptive statistics on the stimulus used to measure recall and comprehension ... 54 Table 3-2. Descriptive statistics on the stimulus passages used to measure strength of text schema. 57 Table 3-3. Reliability instruments .... coefficients of measurement . . . . . . . Table 3-4. Summary table of descriptive statistics of 61 sample subjects . . . . . 70 Table 3-5. Conceptual and operational definitions 78 Table 4-1. Analysis of variance of short-term recall across text structure . . . . . . . 82 Table 4-2. Analysis of variance across text structure ... of long-term recall Table 4-3. Analysis of variance of comprehension across 83 text structure. . . . . . . 84 Table 4-4. Comparison of mean short-term recall scores of narrative story group with news story group. 86 Table 4-5. Comparison of mean short-term recall scores of expository text group with news story group. 88 Table 4-6. Comparison of mean short-term recall scores of narrative story group with expository text group ...................... 89 Table 4-7. Comparison of mean long-term recall scores of narrative story group with news story group. 90 Table 4-8 Comparison of mean long-term recall scores of expository text group with news story group. 91 Table 4-9. Comparison of mean long-term recall scores of narrative story group with expository text group . . . . . . . . . . . 9 2 Table 4-10. Comparison of mean comprehension scores of narrative story group with news story group . 94 Table 4-11. Comparison of mean comprehension scores of expository text group with news story group . 94 viii

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Table 4-12. Comparison of mean comprehension scores of narrative story group with expository text group 96 Table 4-13. Percentage of recall of the propositions representing each terminal node for the expository version of the panther passage ........ 100 Table 4-14. Percentage of recall of the propositions representing each terminal node for the narrative version of the panther passage .......... 102 Table 4-15. Percentage of recall of the propositions representing each terminal node for the news version of the panther passage ...... 104 Table 4-16. Percentage of recall of the propositions representing each terminal node for the expository version of the political uprising passage .... 106 Table 4-17. Percentage of recall of the propositions representing each terminal node for the narrative version of the pol i tical uprising passage .... 108 Table 4-18. Percentage of recall of the propositions representing each terminal node for the news version of the political uprising passage .... 110 Table 4-19. Comparison of mean strength of schema scores of narrative story group with news story group .. 112 Table 4-20. scores group Comparison of mean strength of expository text group with of schema news story 113 Table 4-21. Comparison of mean strength of news schema scores between infrequent newspaper readers and frequent newspaper readers ........... 114 Table 4-22. Correlations between schema and short-term recall .. strength of text Table 4-23. Comparison of mean comprehension scores of subjects with high prior knowledge versus subjects 115 with low prior knowledge ............. 124 ix

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Table 4-24. Comparison of mean comprehension scores of subjects with high interest in the passage topic versus subjects with low interest in the passage topic . . . . . . . . . . . 126 Table 4-25. Crosstabulation of frequency of news media use with interest in topic of passage ...... 127 Table 4-26. Comparison of mean comprehension scores on textually explicit, textually implicit, and scriptally implicit questions .......... 132 X

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure 2-1. Fedler's inverted pyramid 30 Figure 2-2. Diagrammtic representation of van Dijk' s news macrostructure . . . . . . . 33 Figure 2-3. pyramid Figure 2-4. pyramid Figure 4-1. strength version Figure 4-2. strength Newsom and Wollert's traditional inverted Newsom and Wollert's modified inverted . . . . . . . . Plot of short-term recall scores against of text schema for panther passage, news . . . . . . . . Plot of short-term recall scores against of text schema for political uprising passage, news version Figure 4-3. Plot of short-term recall scores against strength of text schema for panther passage, 35 36 117 118 narrative version . . . . . . . 119 Figure 4-4. Plot of short-term recall scores against strength of text schema for political uprising passage, narrative version. . . . . 120 Figure 4-5. Plot of short-term recall scores against strength of text schema for panther passage, expository version ................ 121 Figure 4-6. Plot of short-term recall scores against strength of text schema for political uprising passage, expository version ........... 122 xi

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Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy IS IT ALL IN THE TELLING?: A STUDY OF THE ROLE OF TEXT SCHEMAS AND SCHEMATIC TEXT STRUCTURES IN THE RECALL AND COMPREHENSION OF PRINTED NEWS STORIES By Meenakshi Gigi Durham May 1990 Chairperson: Dr. Leonard P. Tipton Major Department: Journalism and Communications On the basis of schema-theoretic approaches to the reading process, this study focused on the extent to which the underlying structure of news stories and readers' schemas for text structures affect the comprehension and recall of the stories' content. Because readers' awareness of text structures has been shown to influence their cognitive processing of text content, it was hypothesized that altering a news story so that the text conformed to a more familiar structure might increase comprehension and recall. Two stimulus news passages were rewritten twice--once to conform to a story grammar and once to conform to an expository/attribution text structure. Subjects (n=104) read a stimulus passage, performed distractor tasks xii

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including a measure of the strength of the subject's schema for the stimulus passage's text structure, and then responded to measures of free short-term and long-term recall and comprehension. Readers were found to have significantly higher short term recall of the narrative and expository versions of both text passages than the news stories, F (2,50} = 2.881, 2 = 0.065 for Passage I and I (2,45} = 3.529, 2 = 0.038 for Passage II. However, subjects' comprehension of the two passages did not appear to be significantly affected by the experimental manipulation overall, F (2,50} = 1.985, 2 = 0.148 in the case of Passage I, and F (2,45} = 0.179, 2 = 0.836 in the case of Passage II. Long-term recall was significantly affected by alteration of text structure for Passage I, F (2,35} = 3.102, 2 = .057, but not for Passage II, F (2,25} = 0.907, 2 = 0.416. Subjects' interest in the topic of the passage was found to influence comprehension in the case of Passage I (t = 2.36, 2 = 0.011} but not for Passage II (t = 1.21, 2 = 0.116}. xiii

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CHAPTER 1 GENERAL INTRODUCTION News writing has traditionally aimed at presenting information in a clear, concise manner designed to render the news content of a story accessible to as large a number of readers as possible (Mccombs & Becker, 1979, p. 18). Reporters are exhorted to write simply and clearly, using short sentences and familiar words (cf. Berner, 1984; Hutchison, 1986; Jones, 1978). Mencher (1984) notes, "News is information people need in order to make rational decisions about their lives" (p. 77). If the information is meant to be useful, it follows that an ideal news story would be one that a reader could easily comprehend and also could easily recall when the information in it needs to be retrieved. Research Question and Justification for This Study The goal of this research was to investigate a specific domain within the broad topic of schematic cognition and its bearing on the comprehension and recall of news. In particular, this study focused on the structure of print 1

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news messages and the ways in which readers' schemas for such structure influence their interaction with the content of the messages. Text Schemas and Text Structures: An Overview 2 Numerous studies indicate that a reader's familiarity with the way in which information is organized in a text has a significant impact on how well he/she comprehends and remembers it (Adams & Collins, 1977; Anderson, 1977; Marshall & Glock, 1978-79; Taylor, 1980; Pearson & Camperell, 1985; McGee, 1982; Whaley, 1981a, 1981b; Gourley, 1984; Rumelhart, 1985; Bobrow, Black, & Turner, 1985; Ruddell & Speaker, 1985). Research also demonstrates that different types of text have underlying "grammars" or linguistic structures that depend on the goal of the textnarrative structures have been identified for simple fiction stories (Rumelhart, 1975; Mandler & Johnson, 1977; Stein & Glenn, 1979), and a variety of structures have been found for various types of nonfiction text (chronological, taxonomical, persuasive, directive, expository, etc.; see Gillet & Temple, 1986, pp. 247-254). Van Dijk (1983, 1988a) has identified an underlying structure for hard news stories. Story grammars are usually the first text structures acquired by readers, through early exposure to stories in childhood (Applebee, 1978; Hoover, 1981). Nonfiction

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3 structures are learned later, generally from the third grade on (Gillet & Temple, 1986, p. 49). Richards (1978) has observed that many students who are reading fluently in the beginning grades start to experience reading problems in the fourth and fifth grades, when a greater amount of nonfiction material is introduced into the curriculum. She speculates that this phenomenon arises from children's lack of familiarity with text structures other that of the fictional narrative. Green (1979) claims that the unfamiliar and often illogical organization of the typical hard news story can actually impede comprehension of the information contained in it. However, she provides no experimental data to support this hypothesis. How, in fact, does the traditional "inverted pyramid" structure of a news story influence comprehension and recall of news? And how might such effects be related to the receiver's prior knowledge of text structures? These questions are considered herein. Goal of This Research This study investigates some factors influencing the information gained from news stories, focusing principally upon the ways the structural organization of hard news stories affects their comprehension and recall. Numerous studies have explored the comprehension and recall of news stories. Most of the research to date has

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4 measured audience members' memory for the factual content of news stories (Edwardson, Kent, & McConnell, 1985; Katz, Adoni, & Parness, 1977; Gunter, 1981); little attention, however, has been paid to the cognitive processes involved in the assimilation, storage, and later retrieval of news content, or to the relationship between these processes and the news message itself. Recent research indicates that comprehension and recall are interactive operations in which a reader brings his/her prior knowledge and beliefs into play while encoding new information and later activates that knowledge for retrieval of the information (e.g. Bobrow & Norman, 1975; Schank & Abelson, 1977; Pearson, Hansen, & Gordon, 1979; Graesser & Nakamura, 1982; Freebody & Anderson, 1983; Stahl & Jacobson, 1986). The theoretical position on which these findings are predicated is known as schema theory. 1 The Concept of Schema The psychological concept of the schema emerged initially as a reaction to the traditional associationist models of memory and learning (e.g. Ebbinghaus, 1964), in which recall occurred simply as a response to a stimulus. The associationist model gradually gave way to the trace theory of mental representation, which evolved into schema 1 In this document, the word "schema" will be pluralized as "schemas" rather than as "schemata," as per the style used by Mandler (1984, p.2, note 1)

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5 theory as we know it today (for a more complete account of the history of schema theory, see Hastie, 1981). The notion of a schema was first used in studies of memory and remembering and was later applied in the study of reasoning, learning, language processing, problem solving, reading, and countless other cognitive and psychosocial processes. Definition of Schema In general terms, a schema may be defined as a dynamic, generic mental framework for the hierarchical representation of knowledge. Anderson (1977) asserts, "A schema represents generic knowledge; that is, it represents what is believed to be generally true of a class of things, events, or situations" (p. 2). Each schema contains slots for its various components: for example, a rudimentary schema for a human face would contain slots for eyes, a nose, a mouth, and ears. Each new face encountered by an individual with this schema would present new information that could easily be fitted into these slots. Schemas are generally created or instantiated, through experience; once in place, they are key to innumerable cognitive processes. Graesser and Nakamura (1982), in an extensive exposition on the role of schemas in comprehension and memory, define schemas as "generic knowledge structures that guide the comprehender's interpretations, inferences, expectations, and attention. A schema is generic in that it

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is a summary of the components, attributes, and relationships that typically occur in specific exemplars" (pp. 60-61). 6 Fiske and Taylor (1984) refer to a schema as "a cognitive structure that represents organized knowledge about a given concept or type of stimulus" (p. 140). In their view, a stored schema represents preexisting knowledge about a given topic and also guides the assimilation, interpretation, and subsequent recall of incoming information. They note that "cognitive research on the role of generic prior knowledge has demonstrated the importance of schemata in basic processes of understanding and memory" (p. 145). Functioning of Schemas An essential aspect of the concept of schema concerns the notion that schemas are active rather than immutable or static; schemas perform a variety of different operations and are constantly modified, altered, and elaborated as cognitive processes occur. Piaget (1952) writes of the processes of assimilation and accommodation of schemas that transpire whenever schemas are used in interpreting information. New information is assimilated via an existing schema; an individual with a more elaborate schema for the incoming information will be in a better position to absorb more details of the incoming data. Simultaneously, the

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7 schema becomes enriched by accommodating or assimilating the new information. These phenomena occur constantly as information is continually processed, encoded and modified. Rumelhart (1980) posits that schematic learning involves three processes: the learning of facts, or accretion, in which information is encoded into schemas; elaboration and refinement of schemas through continued experience, or tuning; and the creation of new schemas, known as restructuring. Rumelhart's model illustrates the flexible nature of schemas. Another key characteristic of schemas is their hierarchical organization. Rumelhart and Ortony (1977) note that each schema is characterized in terms of lower level constituents, or subschemata. Presumably, the dependence that schemata have on lower level schemata must ultimately stop, that is to say, some schemata must be atomic in the sense that they are not characterized by reference to any other constituent schemata .... Thus, our entire knowledge system would appear to ultimately rest on a set of atomic schemata. (p. 106) Rumelhart (1980) describes schemas as "the fundamental elements upon which all information processing depends" (p. 33). Schemas can be used to interpret information, to retrieve information from memory, to organize actions, to set goals, to allocate resources, and to organize all information processing, but above all they are useful in th e process of constructing meaning, or comprehending.

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8 Rumelhart defines a schema as "a data structure for representing the generic concepts stored in memory" {p. 34). Rumelhart and Ortony {1977) have identified four essential properties of schemas, to wit {a) schemas possess variables, {b) schemas can embed in one another, {c) schemas represent generic concepts of varying levels of abstraction, and {d) schemas are representations of knowledge, not definitions. To these four characteristics, Rumelhart {1980) added two more--{e) schemas are active processes, and {f) schemas are recognition devices whose processing is aimed at the evaluation of their goodness of fit to the data being processed. Hastie {1981) recognizes three distinct types of schemas. The simplest are the central tendency schemas, also termed prototype schemas. Such a schema refers to "a member of a stimulus set that is located at the statistical center of the distribution of items in the set" {Hastie, 1981, p. 40), or to "the member of a category with the most attributes in common with other members of the category and the fewest attributes in common with members of other contrasting categories" {Hastie, 1981, p. 40). In other words, such a schema would represent the archetype of a given concept. The second type of cognitive schema Hastie identifies is termed a template schema. These schemas classify, store, and coordinate incoming information. They are more active

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9 in nature than prototype schemas in that they can add generic information to the schematic structure when anticipated information is not supplied during assimilation, they can modify schema boundaries depending on the nature of the incoming information, and they can perform tests on new information to determine its proper classification. The most complex type of schema is labeled a procedural schema. Such a schema directs the exploration and information-seeking that make new information more readily available to the individual. It specifies the criteria by which new information is encoded into particular schemas or subschemas. It is elaborated and enriched when new information is assimilated. This type of schema "is a pattern of action as well as a pattern for action" (Neisser, 1976, p. 54). Schema-Theoretic Information Processing and Its Application to the Mass Communication Model In the schematic view of cognition, incoming information is encoded and stored via an appropriate schema or pre-existi~g mental knowledge structure. Graesser and Nakamura (1982) recognize two stages in the functioning of schemas during learning: schema identification and schema application. During schema identification, the learner selects a schema which matches some aspects of the input data. Here, the incoming information "matches the

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10 components, attributes, and relationships of a particular schema better than alternative schemas" (Graesser & Nakamura, 1982, p. 62}. Once an appropriate schema has been identified, schema application, the second stage, ensues. In this stage of information processing, the schema directs the perception and interpretation of new information and provides the prior information necessary to comprehend the new information. The schema also determines the amount of attention the learner gives to the elements in the incoming data and aids the learner in formulating expectations about relevant events or information that may follow. As Graesser and Nakamura point out, "[S)chemas are very powerful and intelligent knowledge structures" (p. 63}. During recall, information is retrieved via the schema through which it was encoded. Variations on this model of information processing have been developed (cf. Norman & Bobrow, 1976; Rumelhart, 1980}, but the fundamental mechanism remains essentially the same in all of them. Schemas play a crucial and multifold role in the processes of comprehension and memory. Schemas generate a wealth of prior knowledge essential for understanding, they organize and format incoming information, and they provide an efficient mechanism for the retrieval of stored information. These operations are all necessary in the comprehension and recall of news and other messages generated via the mass

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11 media. In Lasswell's model of the communication process, the transmission of information via mass media is expressed in the question, "Who says what to whom through what channels of communication?" (Smith, Lasswell, & Casey, 1946, p. 121). Another widely accepted model of communication, the Shannon-Weaver model, also incorporates the sender message-medium-receiver chain (Shannon, 1949). The processing of media-generated messages once they have reached their destination--i.e., the individual receiver (newspaper or magazine reader, broadcast listener or viewer)--is crucial to the success of any mass communication. Woodall, Davis, and Sahin (1983) point out that the process of understanding the news is a cumulative process both for the individual and for society. The ability or inability to understand and remember the news presented to viewers on any given day will leave viewers more prepared or less prepared to understand the news tomorrow. As a society, we make decisions about collective actions based on our understanding of the world around us which we derive in part from news stories If there is widespread and increased misunderstanding of certain news stories, we may all make poorer decisions. (p. 194) The receiver in the mass communication model has been studied extensively from a variety of perspectives: A substantial body of research addresses the individual's use of the mass media and the gratifications derived therefrom (e.g. Blumler, 1979; Windahl, 1981) and the effects of mass media messages on the individual's behavior (e.g. Becker & Whitney, 1980; McLeod & Reeves, 1981; Weaver, 1982; Hawkins

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12 & Pingree, 1983; Bryant & Zillman, 1986). Scant attention has been paid, however, to the cognitive processing of the mass media news message and the ways in which it is mentally stored and later retrieved {or not) by the receiver. Research of this type is still relatively in its infancy in the annals of mass communication scholarship. Much of the existing research on the processing of mass media news messages focuses on memory for news, although a few studies do address the issue of comprehension of news stories. Very little empirical evidence is available to support existing hypotheses on these topics, and that which exists focuses primarily on the quantification of news recall {Booth, 1970; Neuman, 1976; Gunter, 1980, 1981; Findahl & Hoijer, 1975, 1981, 1985; Edwardson, Grooms & Pringle, 1976; Edwardson, Grooms, & Proudlove, 1981; Edwardson, Kent, & McConnell, 1985). Studies of recall and comprehension of news grounded in theory of cognition are virtually nonexistent. The Swedish research team of Olle Findahl and Birgitta Hoijer has long been interested in the study of recall and comprehension of news messages. Several of their studies have shown that prior knowledge is vital to comprehension and recall of news {cf. Findahl & Hoijer, 1981; Findahl & Hoijer, 1985). In other words, the existence of a schema for a news topic or for some other aspect of a news story

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13 will improve comprehension and recall of the story. As they point out: Schema theory stresses the organization of earlier knowledge in memory in general or prototypical schemata, representing standard situations, events, or structures. Two different kinds of schemata have been proposed: one deals with knowledge about recurrent events and situations ... ; the other deals with knowledge about the typical structure of stories . In news comprehension both kinds of schemata (about recurrent events and about the structure of news items) are probably activated. (Findahl & Hoijer, 1985, p. 390) In a departure from the strictly numbers-oriented tradition of this line of research in mass communication, Woodall, Davis, and Sahin (1983) proposed a theoretical framework for memory and understanding of news based on principles of episodic memory and on the trace theory of memory and understanding. Another pioneer in this domain, Doris Graber (1988), conducted in-depth interviews with 21 subjects in Evanston, Illinois, to study their schema-based strategies for processing information gained mainly from the news media. These theoretical perspectives are strongly tied to the schematic model of information processing, the origins and ramificatications of which are discussed in the next chapter.

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CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE Schema-based models of information processing have led to increased understanding of the recall and comprehension of written text. Central to the development of such models is the evolution of the construct of the schema as a paradigm for cognition. In this chapter, the development of the schema theory of cognition is traced from its early applications in studies of memory processes to its current role in research on reading comprehension and recall of text information. The Foundations of Schema Theory Two seminal pieces of research form the keystones of schema theory as it is applied in the study of reading cognition today. The first is the work done by Frederic Bartlett of Cambridge University, England, as set forth in his book Remembering (1932). The second is a paper in the realm of artifical intelligence written by Marvin Minsky (1974). 14

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15 Bartlett's Experiments On Remembering Near the beginning of this century, Bartlett conducted a series of experiments with a view to studying systematically the specific social factors that influence visual perception, imaging, and memory, arguing that perception and imagery are both significantly affected by recalled prior information, and that they in turn influence memory. To study perception, Bartlett exposed experimental subjects to shapes and patterns of varying complexity, and to pictures representing easily-identifiable objects and situations, for intervals ranging from 1/15 to 1/4 of a second. Subjects were asked to reproduce the illustration they had seen or simply to describe it. Bartlett observed that the subjects' perceptions of the stimuli were determined by their attitudes, interests, and dispositions. He observed that "in perceiving, the data presented have to be connected with something else before they can be assimilated'' (Bartlett, 1932, p. 46). Imaging was studied by means of a similar experiment in which Bartlett showed subjects various inkblots and encouraged them to describe them. The results of this experiment indicated that, again, subjects drew on prior information and attitudes when describing the inkblots, and that their reactions to the inkblots were part of a search for meaning in the stimuli. Bartlett noted that

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16 the subject, confronted by his task ... and having to use the same instruments of subjective tendencies, bias, interests, and temperamental factors, casts about for analogies with which to subdue the intractability of the perceptual data. (1932, p. 45) Bartlett's work on remembering is extensive, incorporating a series of experiments in which five different methodologies were used: the method of description, the method of repeated reproduction, the method of picture writing, and two methods of serial reproduction. In the first experiment, Bartlett showed subjects a series of five picture postcards, each of which bore the face of a different naval or military officer. Subjects were briefly exposed to each postcard separately and thirty minutes after the exposure were instructed to describe the various cards in the order in which they thought them to have been presented. Recall was tested several times thereafter, following intervals of one week and longer, and questions on the stimuli were posed. In the second experiment, Bartlett asked subjects to read the short story "The War of the Ghosts" by Franz Boas. Each subject r.ead the story twice, silently, and after a lapse of 20 hours orally retold the tale. Bartlett studied the accuracy of the retellings and the various types of deviations from the original story stimulus. The third experiment utilized the method of picture writing, where subjects memorized various symbols that represented words and were then asked to use the symbols in

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17 writing down a dictated account of a short story containing words for which symbols had been taught. Bartlett studied methods of learning and conventions of representation, concluding that a few broad patterns of recall and transmission of symbols exist that are largely social in origin and character. He also found a negative correlation between determination to remember and actual forgetting. Bartlett's final experiments were based on two methods of serial reproduction and were designed to study the effects of the transformations brought about by many individuals in the transmission of a stimulus. The experimental method used in the first of these experiments was similar to the method of repeated reproduction. Again, a subject was asked to read and retell a story, but the retelling was then reproduced by a second subject, whose retelling was in turn reproduced by a third subject, and so on. Bartlett's focus was the main trends of change in series of reproductions gleaned from a number of different subjects. A variety of stimuli were used, including folk tales and nonfictional passages. The experiment was conducted using a variety of different social and ethnic groups of subjects. The second experiment using the method of serial reproduction was based on pictorial material--decorative patterns, illustrations, art forms, and other items. These picture representations were submitted to a course of

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18 repeated and serial reproductions in the same manner as were the stories in the first experiment. In both experiments, Bartlett found that transformations occurred which resulted in an overall loss of the individualizing features of each stimulus, so that in the final reproduction the stimulus had been changed into some more "conventional" representation of the original. The theory of remembering that evolved from Bartlett's experiments laid the foundation for much of the schema theory on which this research is based. Bartlett (1932) noted that when any specific event occurs some trace, or some group of traces, is made and stored up in the organism or in the mind. Later, an immediate stimulus re excites the trace, or group of traces, and, provided a further assumption is made to the effect that the trace somehow carries with it a temporal sign, the re excitement appears to be equivalent to recall. (p. 197) Bartlett postulated that these memory traces are linked in organized frameworks that support the process of learning and remembering. Each of these frameworks, or "postural models", he termed a "schema." In Bartlett's words, "'Schema' refers to an active organisation of past reactions, or of past experiences, which must always be supposed to be operating in any well-adapted organic response" (p. 201). In his view, schemas both influence the acquisition of new information and are continually being elaborated by the addition of new information.

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19 Minsky's Frameworks for the Representation of Knowledge By synthesizing a number of classical and modern paradigms from psychology, artificial intelligence, and linguistics, Marvin Minsky of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a theory of memory based on the existence of "frames" that are similar in function to Bartlett's schemas. As Minsky defines it, "A frame is a data-structure for representing a stereotyped situation" (Minsky, 1974, p. 211); it is also "a network of nodes and relations" (p. 211). In his model, a frame has top levels which represent unvarying knowledge about the situations in question, and lower levels containing terminals or slots that are filled by specific instances or data. Each terminal or slot can specify conditions for the incoming data. Collections of frames and sub-frames are linked into complex frame systems, and frames within each frame system share terminals, which makes it possible to coordinate information gathered from different viewpoints. In the learning or data-acquisition process, information is matched with a frame and then assimilated. If no frame exactly matches the new information, the best available one is modified and stored, in much the same way that Bartlett's schemas are elaborated when new information is acquired. Memory, according to Minsky's hypothesis, is a function of frame retrieval--a process corresponding to schema activation during remembering.

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20 The work of Bartlett and Minsky has had significant impact on the study of cognition and forms the underpinning of much of the recent research in reading cognition. Schema-Theoretic Approaches to Reading Comprehension As Durkin (1984) has pointed out, reading instruction has long taken into account a reader's prior knowledge as a crucial factor in the comprehension of printed text. Schema theory is predicated upon the notion that this prior knowledge is organized into dynamic knowledge structures in the brain that are activated during the reading process, as well as during other types of cognitive processing. As Adams and Collins (1977) have observed: The goal of schema theory is to specify the interface between the reader and the text--to specify how the reader's knowledge interacts with and shapes the information on the page and to specify how that knowledge must be organized to support the interaction. (p. 5) Anderson (1985) has pointed out that from a schema based perspective, reading involves the analysis of text at many different levels simultaneously. In his definition, processes that stem from the actual print on the page are termed "bottom-up" or "data-driven," while processes that originate with the reader's prior information about the text content are "top-down" or "hypothesis-driven" (p. 376). Adams and Collins (1977) provide a model of reading comprehension that describes the act of comprehension as one

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21 in which "top-down" and "bottom-up" schematic processing occur simultaneously. Using Aesop's fable "Stone Soup," the authors analyze the reading process on four levels: letter and word, syntactic, semantic, and interpretative. Letter and word recognition are fundamentally bottom-up processes, although words are recognized by letter and holisticallyletter schemas activate word schemas, and, as a word schema becomes active, "it proportionally and reciprocally facilitates the letter schemata corresponding to its component letters'' (p. 21). Syntactic, semantic, and interpretative processing are "top-down" operations, wherein prior knowledge or existing schemas about fables, word meanings, and problem-solving are brought into play so that the new information in the stimulus story can be efficiently encoded and understood. Schema theory has been applied to explain the comprehension of written text in numerous studies in the last decade (e.g. Anderson, 1977; Pace, 1978; Adams & Bruce, 1980; Pearson, Hansen, & Gordon, 1979; Anderson, 1985; Pearson & Camperell, 1985; Stahl & Jacobson 1986). This recent research stems from the work of Bartlett. Schank and Abelson (1977) defined a schema as "the large repertoire of knowledge structures brought to the reading task by the reader which enable him to understand information which is not directly contained in the text of a given action" (pp. 9-10). In other words, a schema

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22 theoretic approach to reading would suggest that reading is a process requiring a significant amount of prior knowledge on the part of the reader. Anderson (1977) proposes that language comprehension involves rapidly sorting information into slots in a schema. Slots are "placeholders" in schemas into which elements of incoming information can be fitted. To comprehend written material, a reader is required to fit textual information into slots in his/her schema for that information. The notion that a schema must have been instantiated for reading comprehension to occur may be applied at several levels of the reading process. Some schema for the content of the text passage must exist for comprehension to take place (e.g. Stahl & Jacobson, 1986; Pearson, Hansen, & Gordon, 1979). Adams and Collins (1977) suggest that readers use schemas both to decode written symbols and to extract meaning from written words. And a growing body of literature indicates that some knowledge of the discourse structure or "text grammar" of a passage, i.e. a "text schema," is essential for reading comprehension. Text Structures and the Reading Process In his book Remembering, Bartlett proposed that recall of written material depends on a reader's schema for the structure of a written passage (Bartlett, 1932). Such structures, also known as text grammars, have been theorized

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23 to be fundamental in the organization of all written text (Rumelhart, 1975; Rumelhart, 1977; Mandler & Johnson, 1977; Meyer, 1977a, 1977b; Stein & Glenn, 1979; Marshall & Glock, 1979; Taylor, 1980; Taylor & Samuels, 1983). Underlying structures have been isolated for narrative texts (story grammars), as well as for descriptive, expository, and argumentative texts. A rudimentary story grammar for a fable, for example, would comprise a story and a moral. Research indicates that a knowledge of text grammars is essential to the reading process; thus, a reader would have to have a schema for the "fable grammar" to recognize and assimilate a fable in its entirety. Mandler and Johnson (1977) refer to a story schema as "an idealized representation of the parts of a typical story and the relationships among those parts" (p. 112). The basic organizational pattern of the Mandler & Johnson (1977) story grammar comprises the following elements: 1. The setting of the story: The protagonist, and possibly other characters, are introduced; the temporal and physical locations of the story are indicated; any other information is provided which may assist the reader to follow subsequent events. 2. An event: An action or idea that precipitates further story developments.

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24 3. An internal reaction, which may be either simple or complex: When the character's internal reaction leads to a single action, it is termed a simple reaction; when the internal reaction results in the setting of a goal, which is followed by an attempt to reach that goal, the internal reaction is a complex reaction. 4. An outcome: This is the result of the protagonist's attempt to arrive at the goal set in the internal reaction. If the outcome is not successful, the protagonist may try again, with a different outcome. The pattern may thus be repeated within a story. 5. An ending: A state of affairs in which the story is wrapped up "with a dramatic flourish" (p. 124) Numerous studies have demonstrated that a knowledge of story grammars, i.e. the presence of story schemas in readers, facilitates reading comprehension and recall of stories. Mandler (1978) investigated the effects of scrambling two-episode stories generated on the basis of the Mandler and Johnson (1977) story grammar when testing for recall using second-, fourth-, and sixth-grade children as subjects, as well as a group of adult subjects. She found that the structure of the stimulus stories had a significant impact on the quantity, quality, and temporal sequencing of

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25 recall for children and adults; when the basic story grammar was violated, subjects showed a tendency to recall stories according to the correct grammatical structure rather than in the form in which they were presented. It also appeared that children relied more on story schemas than did adults. In a similar study using only adult subjects (n=64), Stein and Nezworski (1978) examined recall of stories of four types: (a) Exact Order (stories that followed the stein & Glenn story grammar), (b) Slightly Disordered (two elements of the grammatical story transposed), (c) Randomly Ordered (story elements presented in random order), and (d) Unrelated Statements (twelve statements from which no causal order could be inferred). Subjects in the Exact Order treatment demonstrated nearly perfect recall of the stimulus material; recall dropped in each experimental condition as more story conventions were violated. Additionally, subjects who were instructed to recall the stories "in the form of a good, coherent story" rather than in the presentation format tended to recall the text in an order which corresponded almost exactly to story grammar order. The data indicated that the underlying structure of a story had a significant influence on its retention and recall. In a more recent experiment, twenty fourth-grade children considered average or below-average readers, and who lacked a sense of story structure, were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: instruction in

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26 narrative structure or instruction in dictionary usage and vocabulary (Fitzgerald & Spiegel, 1983). It was found that the children provided with instruction in story structure showed significant gains in reading comprehension compared with the control group. Spiegel and Fitzgerald (1986) provide details of the instruction given to the treatment group. Fitzgerald (1984) found that in fourthand sixth-grade children, there was a significant positive correlation between reading achievement and ability to anticipate narrative structure. The correlation was consistent across grade level. Van Oijk and Kintsch (1985) hypothesized that (a) in order to understand narratives, subjects must have a general knowledge of a conventional narrative structure, (b) a subject's construction of a story structure comprises a necessary component of story comprehension, and (c) the information stored in memory corresponds to the structure of a text. All three hypotheses were experimentally supported. Similarly, it has been shown that knowledge of nonfictional text structures helps readers better recall and comprehend nonfictional text (Meyer, 1975; Meyer, 1977a, 1977b; Meyer, Brandt, & Bluth, 1980; Meyer & Freedle, 1979; Mulcahy & Samuels, 1987). The expository text structure is written with the purpose of describing or explaining something. Meyer (1977b) notes that recall of expository

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27 prose is primarily a function of recognizing superordinate (or top-level) and subordinate (lower-level) structural propositions in the text: The top level information in the content structure is similar to what educators have identified as the main ideas of a passage and the interrelationships among those ideas. The top levels of the structure appear to carry the central message of a passage. In contrast, the low-level information in the content structure is not part of the central message of a passage although it often supports various aspects of the message; instead, the low levels of the structure appear to contain information peripheral to the central message of a passage. (Meyer, 1977b, pp. 330-331) Meyer has identified several types of organizational structures and relationships characteristics of nonfictional texts. These include taxonomical, chronological, cause and effect, directive, comparison and contrast, and enumerative or attributional. These organizational schemas are acquired gradually through long-term exposure to different discourse types. Bartlett (1978) found the enumerative or attributional structure to be the most common type of textbook organization. An outstanding feature of the attributional expository text structure is the theme paragraph, where each paragraph begins with a topic sentence synopsizing the paragraph's content, followed by elaborative sentences. Taylor (1980) found that children who are "good" readers (scoring higher on standardized reading tests than other children in the same grade) use prose text structure to organize recall. Taylor and Samuels (1983) found that

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28 superior recall for expository text could be attributed to the use of text structure as a retrieval aid. More recently, in an examination of the complementary roles of text schemas and content schemas in reading, Ohlhausen and Roller (1988) determined that both types of schema are used in reading and comprehending expository text. Schemas for the Structure of News Stories Research which integrates cognitive science, schematic views of reading, and the processing of news information is still in its infancy. News stories would appear to combine the characteristics of narrative and expository text and thus possess a structure uniquely their own. That news stories follow a set structural pattern is a notion which has been intuitively acknowledged as true for many years. In the textbook Writing for Mass Communication, Hutchison (1986) points out that all hard news stories 2 should have a formal structure, beginning with a lead: In a good lead, the important things come first. They provide the umbrella under which all details of the story will fit comfortably ... The details usually flow from the lead in order of descending importance into the succeeding paragraphs. A simple 2 The inverted pyramid story structure is characteristic of that of hard news stories, i.e. stories that are factual accounts of events, usually with a time element. Soft news stories (news stories with a human interest focus, written in a lighter vein) or feature stories often do not follow the inverted pyramid structure. The present research is therefore confined to hard news stories. For a more detailed classification of news story types, see Mccombs, Shaw, and Grey (1979), Handbook of Reporting Methods, p. 293.

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29 news story about a minor traffic accident or a minor house fire will look like an inverted pyramid. (p. 125) One form of the inverted pyramid structure is that described by Fedler (1989), shown in Figure 2-1 and discussed in detail later in this section. The structuring of hard news stories is in fact so entrenched in the newswriting process that Tuchman (1978) claims that most news stories consist of prestructured patterns of words into which reporters insert "factoids." The traditional "inverted pyramid" structure of news stories corresponds to the concept of a schematic structure or text grammar. Van Dijk (1983, 1988a, 1988b) observed that a news story can be viewed in terms of schematically structured discourse. Using cognitive models, Van Dijk examined media discourse and its representation in memory, and his analysis of newspaper stories led him to postulate an underlying macrostructure for news stories The overall organization of news discourse reflects the importance of macrostructures. These will typically be expressed by titles or headlines, by initial or final summaries, or by leads .... The lead, often printed in bold type ... will express, in a first few sentences (which are, by definition, "thematical sentences"), the full macrostructure of the news discourse. Following sentences will then progressively specify further details of the events, with the less important ones at the end (with the practical consequences that these can, if necessary, be cut by the editor). Unlike argumentatively structured discourse, such as the scholarly paper, where the important conclusion comes at the end, news in the daily press is organized by the principle of relevance or importance, along a dimension of decreasing prominence with respect to the macro structure. (Van Dijk, 1983, p. 35)

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Summary lead Most important fact s Next mo s t important facts Explanations Quotes Description Related facts Background Figure 2 -1 Fedler s inverted pyramid 30

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Van Dijk's grammar for news discourse is outlined below: 1. Summary/introduction 1.1 Headlines 1. 2 Lead 2. Episode(s) 2.1 Events 2.1.1 2.1.2 2.1.3 2.1.4 Previous information Antecedents Actual events Explanation 2.1.4.1 Context 2.1.4.2 Background 2.2 Consequences/reactions 2.2.1 Events 2.2.2 Speeches 3. Comments 3.1 Expectations 3.2 Evaluation A diagrammatic representation of this structure is shown in Figure 2-1. 31 Van Dijk has noted that while the elements of this news macrostructure are present in almost all hard news stories, their sequence may vary depending on such factors as the semantic content of the story, the news values of the writer, the complexity of the story, and so on. In his study, van Dijk analyzed news stories from a number of international newspapers; however, the macrostructure he proposed does not correspond very well with the average hard news story found in American

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32 newspapers, especially with regard to the last category in the structure--the "Comments" category. In general, hard news stories produced in the United States do not include evaluations or predictions of possible consequences of the actual events detailed in the stories. In a popular journalism textbook, Fedler (1989) describes the structure of a hard news story thus: The lead in an inverted pyramid story summarizes the topic, and each of the following paragraphs presents some additional information about it: names, descriptions, quotations, conflicting viewpoints, explanations, background data and so forth. Most paragraphs are self-contained units that require no further explanation, and only the summary of the entire story appears in the lead. News stories end with their least important details--rarely with any type of conclusion. (pp. 135-136) Fedler's version of the inverted pyramid story may be graphically represented as shown earlier in this chapter in Figure 2-1. Newsom and Wollert (1988, p. 120) determined that most news stories have the following elements: 1. The lead (the main point) 2. Secondary points in a tie-in transition 3. Elaboration on the main point 4. Support for the lead 5. Background 6. Development of the main idea 7. Details

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33 NEWS REPORT HEADLINE LEAD EPISODE CONSEQUENCES MAIN EVENTS CONTEXT CIRCUMSTANCES STORY COMMENTS SITUATION VERBAL REACTIONS BACKGROUND CONCLUSIONS EXPECTATIONS HISTORY EVALUATIONS PREVIOUS EVENTS Figure 2-2 Diagrammatic representation of van Dijk 's news macrostructure

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34 They offer two diagrammatic representations of the inverted pyramid: the "traditional" inverted pyramid (Figure 2-3) and the "modified" pyramid (Figure 2-4). For the purposes of this study, Newsom and Wollert's modified inverted pyramid structure will be adopted as the typical structure for a breaking hard news story in an American newspaper. Unlike the van Dijk structure, the Newsom and Wollert modified pyramid does not include any subjective elements such as comments on or analyses of the events contained in the story; the absence of these elements is far more typical of American news stories. Second, the Newsom and Wollert modified pyramid includes quotes and the possibility of a secondary theme in the story, which more complex news stories often contain; the traditional pyramid does not accommodate these elements. In this respect, the Newsom and Wollert pyramid is a more useful descriptor than the Fedler pyramid, which makes a provision for quotes but not for a secondary theme within a story. Green (1979) suggested that a "typical" news story organization can, in fact, be detected, but that the organization hampers comprehension instead of facilitating it. The typical news story, in Green's view, is "disorganized and undirected, unconnected and jumbled up, with the result that it is difficult to follow" (p. 5).

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35 LEAD: Who What When Where Why How 16 to 25 words TIE-IN: One sentence connecting one element of the lead to the body BODY: Development of the most important WWWWWH elements of the lead Second most important element of WWWWWH Further development of most important element Other elements. The least important facts of the story-nothing new introduced Lead SW&H Tie-In Most Important 2nd Most Important Other Least Figure 2 3. Newsom & Wollert's traditional inverted pyramid

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36 LEAD: Major theme, could be significance of event, rather than fact May be two sentences May not include SW&H TIE-IN: The left-overs of the SW&H not mentioned in the lead 1st Graph: Explication of the lead incident, quote, meaning, or background of event-how something came to be 2nd Graph: Additional information about most important fact of lead Something to give credibility or significance to lead information 3rd Graph: Secondary theme or supporting documentation for the lead 4th Graph: Any other details, in order of significance to lead LEAD Documentation or Explication=Background or History Elaboration of Lead Secondary Theme or Supporting Facts, Quotes Least Significant Details Figure 2-4 Newsom and Wolert's modified inverted pyramid

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She recommends a complete overhaul of the guidelines reporters follow to shape their stories in favor of a structure that would ease comprehension. 37 Although the above analyses have revealed evidence of an underlying news story structure, Thorndyke (1977) found that altering the structure of a news story did not significantly influence readers' recall or comprehension of the content, the implication being that the structuring of a news story does not consistently affect the processing of information contained therein, contrary to the similar studies of this nature that have been conducted using narrative and expository text. Thorndyke, however, did not identify a standardized news or narrative structure in his experiment, and thus the scrambling of stories in his study was not systematic, which may render his results less than definitive. Housel (1984) posited that the linguistic complexity of a news story influenced readers' recall and comprehension far more than did the structure of the story. He found that in the case of television news stories, linguistic complexity was indeed a better predictor of recall and comprehension than was story structure. However, the inverted pyramid structuring of a story in fact lends itsel f to a lower level of linguistic complexity than would be found in a narrative or expository story due to th e a bsenc e

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of cohesive devices, connectives, and transitions in inverted pyramid stories. 38 Nolan (1989) found that when a news story was rewritten to follow a chronological order, the gist of the story was better recalled by subjects who read it in the inverted pyramid form. More research into this aspect of the nature of news stories and the processing of news content is needed at this juncture. Conventional perspectives and some empirical evidence support the concept of an underlying structural grammar for news stories. But to what extent does this structuring influence readers' interaction with printed news? Are stories which conform to the grammar more easily comprehended and recalled than stories which do not? Would familiarity with the structure of news stories increase readers' comprehension and recall of news? Concomitantly, if news stories were written to conform to structures with which readers were already very familiar--e.g. a narrative or expository structure--would recall and comprehension improve? The implications of research of this nature would be multifold. Identification of a text structure which significantly influenced comprehension and recall of news might revolutionize the way newswriting is taught in journalism curricula. Several studies have been conducted to assess the influence of newspaper reading on reading

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39 skills (cf. Stetson, 1977; Heitzman, 1979; Cheyney, 1984), but the schematic structures of news stories and their use by readers to facilitate comprehension and recall have not been incorporated into educational programs such as Newspapers in Education. Thus, instruction on news grammars in reading classrooms and literacy education programsparticularly those in which newspapers are used as teaching tools--could enhance readers' use of newspapers in the context of their daily lives as a direct result of increased comprehension and recall of news stories' content. Limitations of the Schema Concept Although cognitive models, particularly those utilizing the concept of schema, provide a comprehensive and useful framework within which to study information processing (Lachman, Lachman, & Butterfield, 1979), various critics of schema theory have pointed out its limitations as a research paradigm. The research conducted in this dissertation could not be fully and critically evaluated without some discussion of these limitations and their possible effects on the results of this study. Schema theory is perhaps best characterized as a form of causal process theory, defined as "a set of descriptions of causal processes" (Reynolds, 1971, p. 11). This form of theory should incorporate (a) a set of definitions, including definitions of theoretical concepts, using nominal

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and operational definitions; (b) a set of existence statements describing the situations in which the causal processes are expected to occur; and (c) a set of causal statements that describe the effect of one or more independent variables on one or more dependent variables (Reynolds, 1971, p. 97). These three conditions have been met in the case of 40 schema theory. (1) The term "schema" has been defined in a variety of ways, using both primitve and derived terms; some of these nominal definitions have been presented earlier in this work (see Chapter 1). (2) Schemas are thought to guide information processing in virtually any situation requiring cognitive activity. (3) Schema theory describes the way cognitive structures cause information to be assimilated, stored, and later retrieved. These cognitive structures are posited to affect such dependent variables as thinking, perception, comprehension, memory, information gain, and concept formation. Fiske and Linville (1980) evaluate schema theory according to attributes of a good theory such as predictive capability, link to observables, and heuristic value. While schemas have good predictive power and tremendous heuristic provocativeness, as is exemplified by the numerous studies predicated on the schema concept, the link between schemas and observable entities remains tenuous. As Fiske and Linville observe, "There is no manipulation check for a

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41 schema" (p. 547). This fact remains the most significant limitation of schema theory: because no method of measuring a schema is consensually accepted at present, "schema" is still considered an abstract and vague concept. A second criticism hinges on the idea that the schema concept cannot be falsified because a schema can be used to explain virtually any experimental result, even results that contradict one another. In theory testing, as described by Popper (1963), the theory needs to be weighed in relation to empirical findings which constitute attempts to falsify the theory. Reynolds (1971) observes that a theory can best be refined by testing axioms or statements in the theory which are most likely to be false; when empirical findings refute a theoretical statement, the theory is modified and improved. However, the failure of empirical findings to refute the causal process statements implicit in schema theory should not constitute an automatic indictment of the theory. Rather, "(e]mbedded in a well-specified theory of process, the schema construct becomes more clear, consistent, powerful, and thus more falsifiable" (Fiske & Linville, 1980, p. 546). According to Fiske and Linville (1980), some critics claim that schema theory explains phenomena already adequately explained by attitude and attribution theoryi.e., that an individual's schema for something is simply another word for his/her attitude toward it or a way of

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42 describing attributions made about it. However, as these authors point out, the schema can be thought of as a metaconstruct which explains both attitude formation and attribution, thus providing a framework within which to study the internal processes guiding attitude change and behavior. Rather than reiterating old findings, schema theory actually presents new conceptualizations of previously-observed phenomena. In short, it would appear that schema theory provides a distinctively new orientation to the study of cognitive processes. New research questions and strategies have been generated from the study of schematic information processing, and explanations for previously unexplained phenomena have been established. On the basis of these criteria, schema theory can be accepted as a paradigm to be used to understand and explain human cognition. Predicted Associations The theory and research findings summarized in this chapter point to a number of empirical relationships that were explored in some depth in this study. The schematic structure of text has been shown to significantly affect readers' recall and comprehension of the information contained therein; similarly, readers' familiarity with text structures--i.e., the strength of their text schemas--has been demonstrated to affect their comprehension and recall

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43 of the text information. The extent to which these relationships hold true in the case of printed news messages was the focus of the present research. Nominal Definitions To clarify the method and hypotheses employed in this study, explicit definitions of the concepts under investigation should first be provided. Schema The concept of schema forms the crux of this study; while definitions and descriptions of this concept abound, as illustrated in Chapter I, above, these definitions differ only slightly; researchers seem generally to share an agreement regarding the notion that the term "schema" refers to a malleable cognitive structure representing generic knowledge. The definition of schema used by Graesser and Nakamura (1982) seems to express explicitly and concisely the nature and function of schemas and thus will be the definition adopted for this study. Thus, a schema will hereinafter be defined as a dynamic, generic knowledge structure that guides interpretation, inferences, expectations, and attention (see Graesser & Nakamura, 1982, pp. 60-61).

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44 Text schemas and text structures The specific type of schema known as a text schema bears particular relevance to this study, along with the related concept of a text structure or text grammar. The term "text structure" refers to the underlying organizational pattern of a given text; the representation of this pattern in the reader's mind is the text schema. Mandler and Johnson {1977) define a story schema as "an idealized internal representation of the parts of a typical story and the relationships among those parts" (p. 111). Stein and Glenn (1979) describe a story schema as "the underlying structure used to comprehend the informational units i n a story and the relations that occur between the units" (p. 53). This notion of a cognitive model representing the structure of a story can be applied to other types of written text also. Therefore, hereinafter a text schema will be defined as an idealized mental representation of the informational units in a typical example of a particular type of text and the r e lationships among those units. Narrative, or story, schemas, expository text schemas, and news story schemas will be studied in this investigation. Stein and Glenn (1978) noted, "Stories can be described in terms of a hierarchical network of categories and the logical relations that exist between these categories" {p. 58)

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45 This underlying organizational structure of a text will be identified in this work as the text structure or the text grammar (the two terms will be used interchangeably). Recall and comprehension Recall and comprehension are the dependent variables of interest in this study. Both terms encompass a wide variety of cognitive phenomena. However, the two constructs are closely linked. Van Dijk (1987) observes that "one result of understanding a text is a representation of the meaning of the text in (episodic) memory" (p. 165), the direct implication being that text comprehension always results in the storage of information in long-term memory for later retrieval, i.e. text comprehension always precedes long-term recall of text information. Voss (1984) corroborates this notion. He writes While reading, the individual is assumed to interpret the text contents in terms of his or her own knowledge, interests, and attitude. During the interpretive process the individual develops a representation of the contents of the text. Learning is thus presumed to involve the storage of information via the development of the representation. (p. 197) (emphasis added) Irwin (1~86) describes comprehension as comprising several processes that proceed simultaneously: microprocesses, involving "[t]he initial chunking and selective recall of individual idea units within individual sentences" (p. 3) as well as integrative processing, in which the relationships between clauses and sentences are inferred; and macroprocesses, involving elaborative and

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metacognitive processes. The ultimate result of these comprehension processes is a good representation of the text's ideas in memory. 46 Thus, separating comprehension from memory as two distinct constructs gives rise to some difficulties. Nevertheless, the inferential and elaborative aspects of the comprehension process do distinguish it from the phenomenon of storing literal information drawn from a text. Recall. As Belli (1986) observes, rival psychological theories have resulted in very different interpretations of the memory process. The mechanistic model of memory, for example, views it as a passive process, whereas schema-based models regard memory as an active, adaptive operation. The latter position will be adopted for the purposes of this study. Memory is generally measured as recall, a term which also possesses different meanings in different contexts. In the mass communication literature, recall is further classified into aided and unaided recall. Katz, Adoni, and Parness (1977) refer to unaided recall as "spontaneous recall" (p. 232). British psychologist Martin Le Voi, on the other hand, terms it "free recall" (1986, p. 105) and describes the process as happening in a situation where "the subject is free to recall any items and create and use helpful cues in any way he or she wishes" (p. 105). Generally, unaided or free recall means the unprompted

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47 remembrance of information; aided recall, on the contrary, refers to the process of remembering information in a situation where prompts or cues are provided. Le Voi calls this latter phenomenon "cued recall" (p. 106). He notes that models of memory based on the encoding specificity principle (ESP) make no distinction between cued recall and recognition. To avoid any confusion, hereinafter unaided or free recall will simply be termed "recall" while aided or cued recall will be termed "recognition". In this study, the research question was framed in terms of long-term benefits to the reader from the assimilation of information contained in printed news stories. Thus, recognition is not of as great interest as recall. In addition, long-term recall is of greater significance in this investigation than short-term recall. Nevertheless, both short-term and long-term recall were measured. Comprehension. Irwin (1986) defines comprehension as the process of using one's own prior experiences (reader context) and the writer's cues (text context) to infer the author's intended meaning. (p. 9) The assessment of text comprehension has traditionally been effected via the use of text-based questions (see Trabasso, van den Broek, & Liu, 1988). Comprehension in this experiment was assessed using a questionnaire that measured subjects' literal, inferential, and evaluative processing of

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48 the stimulus texts. Literal comprehension refers to the retention of facts from a text; inferential comprehension requires the reader to use his or her prior knowledge in conjunction with information in the text to construct meaning from the text; and evaluative comprehension occurs when the reader is able to formulate some judgment about information contained in text. Literal comprehension may be assessed using textually explicit questions, defined by Pearson and Johnson (1978) as questions having "obvious answers right there on the page" (p. 157). Inferential comprehension is measured through the use of textually implicit questions. "Comprehension is regarded as textually implicit if there is at least one step of logical or pragmatic inferring necessary to get from the question to the response and both question and response are derived from the text" (Pearson & Johnson, 1978, p. 161). Evaluative comprehension is assessed by means of scriptally implicit questions: Scriptal comprehension ... occurs when a reader gives an answer that had to come from prior knowledge (it is not there in the text) to a question that is at least related to the text (that is, there would be no reason to ask the question if the text were not there). It is similar to textually implicit comprehension in that an inference is involved; however, it is different in that the data base for the inference is in the reader's head, not on the page. (Pearson & Johnson, 1978, p. 162)

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CHAPTER 3 METHOD To explore the connection between the schematic organization of news stories and the receiver's cognitions regarding the news message, an experimental study of the relationships between these variables was undertaken. Green's (1979) hypothesis that the organization of news stories hinders comprehension and recall of the message was empirically tested; in addition, the significance of the existence of a reader's schema for news story structure was investigated under experimental conditions. The most commonly encountered types of text organization are the narrative or story grammar and the expository text structure. The story grammar forms the basic framework of all simple stories (see Mandler & Johnson, 1977; Stein & Glenn, 1978). While many types of nonfiction text structures have been identified, Bartlett (1978) found that the expository structure, in which facts are organized in terms of main points and supporting details, is used most frequently in nonfiction text. Thus, in schema theoretic terms, it would appear that these two organizational patterns would be the most familiar to readers. 49

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50 The simple story grammar and the expository text structure were thus selected as the text grammars with which to compare the inverted pyramid news story structure. Readers' schemas for these patterns were also measured to gauge the extent to which strength of text schema affected information processing from a printed news story. Hypotheses This study investigated the influence of text grammars, the underlying organizational structures of text passages, on readers' recall and comprehension of passage content. Generally, it was hypothesized that narrative and expository text grammars would be more conducive to high recall and comprehension than the news story grammar. The following hypotheses were tested: Hl: A text passage organized according to a narrative story grammar will be better remembered in the short term than a passage organized according to an expository text grammar, which in turn will be better remembered in the short term than a passage organized according to a news story grammar. H2: A text passage organized according to a narrative story grammar will be better remembered in the long term than a passage organized according to an expository text grammar, which in turn will be better remembered in the

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51 long term than a passage organized according to a news story grammar. H3: A text passage organized according to a narrative story grammar will be better comprehended than a passage organized according to an expository text grammar, which in turn will be better comprehended than a passage organized according to a news story grammar. The following hypotheses were postulated to find a theoretical basis for explaining the results of the above investigations: H4: Readers with highly developed schemas for a particular text structure will have higher recall of that type of text than readers with weak schemas for that structure. H5: Readers with highly developed schemas for a particular text structure will have better comprehension of that type of text than readers with weak schemas for that structure. Operational Definitions The Independent Variables Short-term and long-term recall of text and text comprehension were hypothesized to vary with the underlying structure of a text. Thus, the principal independent variable in this study was text structure, which was

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manipulated to assess its effects on the cognitions under examination. Readers' text schemas were also hypothesized to affect their recall and comprehension of text in the various structural conditions. Schematic structure of text 52 The variable manipulated to predict readers' recall of a news message was the schematic structure of a stimulus hard news story. This structure was systematically varied so as to measure fluctuations in recall that might result from changes in the news story structure. In general, news writers in the United States follow Associated Press guidelines for the organization of news story material. Stimulus news stories were generated by selecting two front-page hard news AP stories from a national newspaper according to how well they typified a hard news story as it is defined by Mccombs, Shaw and Grey (1979) (see Footnote 2 in the preceding chapter). Stimulus news stories were rewritten twice: once to follow the Mandler & Johnson (1977) narrative grammar and again to follow the expository/attribution text structure outlined by Meyer (1975}, both described in an earlier chapter. The purpose of the rewriting was to provide stimulus materials to test which, if any, structural pattern contributes most to increasing levels of comprehension and recall of the passage's content.

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53 The news stories chosen as experimental stimuli were rewritten to follow the patterns for narrative and expository text as closely as possible without significantly altering the content, length or readability level of the passages (see Table 3-1). The content of the stories was such that they could not be rewritten to follow exactly the story or expository text grammars, but the narrative and expository versions produced for use in this experiment were reasonably close facsimiles of the ideal structures. Text schemas A second independent variable hypothesized to predict variations in readers' comprehension and recall of text was the strength of their schemas for the particular pattern of organization inherent in the text. This factor is not, strictly speaking, an independent variable in that it was not experimentally manipulated. However, since it was hypothesized to be a predictor of changes in recall and comprehension, it was analyzed as an independent variable in this study. It has been shown that recognition of text patterns increases recall and comprehension (Mandler, 1978; Fitzgerald & Spiegel, 1983). Wicks (1986) points out, "Schema theory suggests that individuals possessing a well defined schema in [a] domain will have more success at recall of related information .. (p. 7)."

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Table 3-1 Descriptive statistics on the stimulus passages used to measure recall and comprehension 54

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55 Wicks notes that generally schemas have been measured either by means of survey questionnaires or through experimentation, adding: Most of the studies aimed at demonstrating the presence of a schema rely on measurement approaches that test recall, evaluate inferential capabilities and assess the tendency of an individual to cluster related concepts. (p. 4) In this study, the method of measurement used by Bower, Black, and Turner (1979) and Kinney (1984) was adopted: The subjects' familiarity with different text structures was assessed by their responses to a task in which they were instructed to reconstruct scrambled passages to form well ordered, typical news, narrative, or expository texts, depending on which type of scrambled passage they were given. The scrambling of the stimulus passages was systematic in that each text passage was broken down into its nodes according to the text structure on which it was based. Each subject was randomly assigned to one of three structure conditions (news, narrative, or expository). Again, the passages used were similar in terms of length and readability level, although the content differed (see Table 3-2). The Dependent Variables The response variables hypothesized to change with the structural organization of the stimulus text and with readers' schemas for that structural organization were recall and comprehension of the content of the text. As indicated in the previous chapter, a substantial body of ex

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56 perimental research indicates that variations in text organization result in significant changes in recall of both fiction and nonfiction passages; these findings provided the basis for the present experiment, in which a news story was used as the primary stimulus for further investigations along these lines Recall Typically, memory for news is measured as either recall or recognition. Recognition measures include multiple choice questionnaires and retelling tasks in which subjects are prompted to remember specific pieces of information. Recall is frequently measured more informally, usually by means of a request to "write down brief descriptions" of what is recalled (Gunter, 1980) or requests for verbal descriptions of the stimulus passages (Edwardson, Kent, & McConnell, 1985). In the present experiment, recall of the stimulus passages was measured according to the procedure developed by Meyer (1975), adapted by Taylor (1980) and Taylor and Samuels (1983) and later used by McGee (1982) for scoring recall of expository text--a method similar to the scoring procedure followed by Mandler and Johnson (1977) for measuring recall of narrative text. After being given an interference task in which they provided the researcher with

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Table 3-2 Descriptive statistics on the stimulus passages used to measure strength of text schema 57

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58 demographic information and answered a test evaluating their reading level (the West Informal Reading Evaluation; West, 1978), subjects were asked to write down an account of the stimulus passage they had read, keeping as close to the original version as possible. The recalled texts were scored by comparing them to the originals on the basis of the proportion of elements of the initial passage recalled per structural node. The sequencing of the recalled propositions was not analyzed in this experiment, since sensitivity to text organization was assessed using the text schema instrument. A simple score based on the overall proportion of the stimulus passage recalled was judged to be sufficient. The overall proportion of terminal nodes recalled was computed as a percentage score. Comprehension Comprehension was measured on the basis of nine questions. Questioning is a standard method of gauging comprehension (see Anderson & Biddle, 1975; Johnson, 1983; Wilten, 1987; Trabasso, et al., 1988). The types of questions use~ were loosely based on Pearson and Johnson's description of textually explicit and scriptally implicit questions (Pearson & Johnson, 1978) as well as on the comprehension questions used in Johns' (1988) Basic Reading Inventory, a standardized informal reading evaluation instrument. Five of the nine questions were literal, eliciting information based on main points or details that

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59 could be found directly in the text. Of the remaining four questions, two were evaluative, requiring the reader to assess a situation; one was inferential, calling on the reader's prior knowledge of the situation; and one was a global question asking for a summarization of the main point of the stimulus passage. A tenth question was included which asked, "How well do you feel you understood the story?" This general self evaluative measure was based on the concept of comprehension used by Housel (1984) and Thorndyke (1977). Reliability and Validity of Measurement Instruments As Selltiz, et al. (1976) point out, "The quality of research depends not only on the adequacy of the research design but also on the quality of the measurement procedures employed" (p. 160). Good measurement instruments must be dependable measures of the target concept--i.e., they must be as free as possible from random error caused by testing conditions or inconsistencies among scorers or observers. In addition, they must accurately identify and measure the concept in question. The two principal properties of an instrument that affect its usefulnesss as a measurement tool are its reliability and its validity. Reliability Reliability of a measurement instrument refers to the steadiness of scores on the instrument. Reliability may

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60 be measured in terms of stability, or consistency of scores over time; internal consistency, sometimes called homogeneity--the similarity of items within a test or other instrument; and equivalence, or consistency across different forms of the same instrument. This third aspect of reliability becomes important only when different forms of an instrument are being used to measure the same construct. The reliability of the instruments used in this study was assessed in terms of stability and equivalence. Reliability of the instruments was measured using the alternate forms method. Twenty-four undergraduate students at the University of Florida were asked to participate in the reliability study. The students responded to the various measures in the experimental sequence described later in this chapter. Two days later, the experiment was repeated with the same class; however, while students remained within the same experimental condition (news, narrative, or expository), they were given different stimulus passages on the second day. Thus, they were effectively given alternative forms of a single test. A coefficient of stability and equivalence was computed according to the formula (: AB = (AMA) ( BMe) SDA SDt5 where A represents a subject's score on the first test (Test A), B represents the subject's score on the second

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61 test (Test B), MA represents the mean score on Test A, M 6 represents the mean score on Test B, SD 4 represents the standard deviation of scores on Test A, and SD 6 represents the standard deviation of scores on Test B. (For a more detailed explanation of the alternative forms method of reliability assessment, see Walsh & Betz, 1985, pp. 50-51, and Horvath, 1985, pp. 71-85). Reliability coefficients for the instruments used in this experiment are given in Table 3-3. In some cases the reliability coefficients computed were slightly below 0.50. Table 3-3 Reliability coefficients of measurement instruments INSTRUMENT Schema measure News Narrative Expository Recall measure Comprehension measure RELIABILITY 0.57 1.00 0.44 0.44 0.46 These low coefficients could be attributed to small size of the sample used in the reliability tests; the instruments weregenerally considered acceptably reliable. Selltiz, et al. (1976) point out that low reliability coefficients are not necessarily indicators of low validity of measurement instruments (pp. 194-197). They argue that

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62 in some cases, fluctuations in scores on measurement instruments from one test administration to another or even within a test are desirable in that tests that produce extremely homogenous results are not as useful for making fine discriminations among responses and may in fact reflect a high degree of constant error. They note that the assessment of reliability and validity occurs along a continuum from convergence of scores to divergence, depending on the correlations being computed, and that "if a measure can be shown to be reasonably valid. it must ipso facto be reasonably reliable, since a measure with a large error component could not show such consistent relationships" (p. 197). Validity "The validity of a measuring instrument may be defined as the extent to which differences in scores on it reflect true differences among individuals on the characteristics that we seek to measure" (Selltiz, Wrightsman, & Cook, 1976, p. 169). In other words, the validity of a measure refers to the extent to which it is a true gauge of the construct it is supposed to measure. Here, the crucial questions would be whether the recall instruments were accurate measures of subjects' memory for the stimulus passages and whether the comprehension instruments were accurate measures of subjects' understanding of the passages' content.

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63 Face validity As a very superficial test of an instrument's validity, the relevance of the instrument to the construct under investigation should be apparent "on the face of it" (Selltiz, et al., 1976, p. 178). Because the measurement instruments used were derived from the stimulus passages themselves and were constructed following the methods used by earlier investigators of similar phenomena, the instruments exhibited significant face validity. Content validity Content validity is an estimate of the extent to which the measurement instrument is an adequate sample of the domain or process being measured (Selltiz, et al., 1976, p. 179). Generally, content validity is assessed by submitting the measurement instrument to the scrutiny of experts, who verify that all facets of the construct or domain under investigation are represented in the instrument. The instruments used in this experiment possessed considerable content validity because they were derived exclusively from the stimulus passages read by the subjects, measuring recall of each structural proposition within each passage and comprehension of ideas contained within the passage. The measures thus represented an adequate sample of the processes under examination.

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64 Construct validity In this experiment, the dependent variables "recall" and "comprehension" are constructs or abstractions that describe traits possessed by the subjects--i.e., the ability to remember and to understand text. Construct validation refers to the process of estimating to what extent the measurement instruments measure these latent traits. Construct validation may be accomplished by means of examining patterns of correlation of a measure with other validated measures of the same trait (convergent validity) and by showing that the trait as measured by the instrument in question can be differentiated from other traits or constructs (Selltiz, et al., 1979, p. 174). Curtis and Jackson (1962) have suggested that high correlations between measures intended to measure different but theoretically related constructs provide evidence of convergent validity. In this study, comprehension and long term recall were expected to vary together; they are theoretically related but conceptually distinct constructs. Their construct validity was estimated by measuring the degree of correlation between subjects' scores on the measure of comprehension and the measure of long-term recall based on the same stimulus passage. The Pearson correlation coefficient was found to be 0.33 (N=69); this correlation was statistically significant, 2 = .003. Short-term recall was measured by means of the same instrument used to assess

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65 long-term recall; thus, convergent validity was established for the comprehension and recall measures. The instruments used to assess recall of the passages were thus generally judged to be reliable and valid. The Control of Possibly Confounding Variables The dependent variables, recall and comprehension of the informational content of text, are influenced by numerous factors. To date most of the research on this process has been conducted using children or adults with reading problems as subjects; knowledge remains scarce regarding influences on the reading recall and comprehension of normal adult readers. Age has been determined to be a major factor affecting the reading ability of children (Chall, 1983). Developmental stages of reading ability have been found among adults with reading difficulties (Norman & Malicky, 1987), but these are not associated with age. Thus, while subjects' ages were noted during data collection for this experiment, they were not taken into account when the data were analyzed. Factors influencing the reading and learning abilities of adults with impaired reading facility include cultural background, physiological influences, and educational level (Newman, 1980). Bowen and Zintz {1977) list sociological, physical, environmental, and psychological factors as

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66 significant influences on the reading abilities of adults in literacy programs; they also include learning ability or IQ as an important determinant of reading skill. In this experiment, the final subject group chosen consisted of undergraduate students at the University of Florida. Their ages ranged from an 18-to-24-year-old group to a 50-to-64-year-old group. The modal age range was 18 to 24 years, with 87.5 percent of the subjects falling into this group. Most of the subjects used in the experiment happened to be women (89 out of 104 subjects were female). Ninety-four of the subjects were white, six were black, two were Asian, one was Hispanic, and one did not indicate a racial designation. In a general sense, the group could be seen as homogenous: little variation in age, SES, educational background, race, or cultural background was evident. The selection of subjects alone resulted in the effective control of sociological, e nvironmental, and educational variables which may have interfered with the experimental manipulation. Norman, Malicky, and Fagan {1988) have pointed out that the reading level of the adult reader could affect text comprehension and recall. Although it could fairly safely be assumed that because the subjects were all college undergraduates at the same institution, their reading levels were on a par, reading level was nonetheless measured using the West Informal Reading Evaluation (West, 1978). Data

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67 collected from the eight students reading below the college level, as estimated by the WIRE, were not included in the data analysis. Reading level was thus eliminated as a confounding variable. Schema theoretic views of reading suggest that prior knowledge of text content strongly influences reading comprehension and recall (Pearson, Hansen, & Gordon, 1979; Stahl & Jacobson, 1986; Perin, 1988). Thus, two text passages were used in the experiment as a verification tactic, to determine whether the observed effects occurred regardless of text content. Passage I was drawn from a wire story published in The Independent Florida Alligator. The original article referred to incidents in Beijing, China, in May 1989, but the setting was changed to Paramaraibo, capital of the South American country of Surinam. All names in the passage were changed. Passage II was a brief wire article about a captive-breeding program to protect the endangered Florida panther. Within each text passage condition, the different structural versions were kept as similar as possible in terms of their length, average sentence length, and readability (calculated according to the Fry formula conceived by Edward Fry, 1977), so that any influences on recall and comprehension arising from these factors might be minimized. Only the passages' structures were varied.

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68 Descriptive statistics pertaining to these characteristics of the stimulus passages are provided in Table 3-1. The content of the two passages precluded rewriting to exactly follow the narrative or expository text grammars, but these were approximated as well as possible. The narrative version of the political uprising story fell short of representing a true story in that it lacked a single protagonist--the political demonstrators filled that role en masse. In the panther story, a goal was implied in the setting in that the protagonist's desire to combat a problem was tacitly expressed in the first sentence. However, generally speaking, the passages adhered to the Mandler and Johnson (1977) story grammar in their narrative forms and to the Meyer (1975) expository/attribution grammar in their expository forms. The Experimental Design The overall experimental design comprised a single factor posttest-only procedure. The manipulated variable was text structure; the response variables were short-term recall, long-term recall, and comprehension. The strength of subjects' text schemas for each of the structures used was also measured as a quasi-independent variable. The experiment consisted of six tasks.

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69 Subjects .. The power of an experiment is the probability of rejecting the null hypothesis if the null is false. This probability is increased by minimizing the chances of making a Type II error by finding support for a false null hypothesis. The power of an experiment is determined by the size of the sample of the subject population (see Winer, p. 104) Fifteen subjects per cell were computed to be required to minimize Type II error at a 0.05 level of significance. Because there were six cells in the design, 90 subjects were needed for this experiment. Subjects were undergraduate students at the University of Florida, drawn from senior-level classes in journalism, education, and speech communication. However, not all subjects were majoring in these disciplines. After the elimination of the poor readers, one hundred and four students participated in this study. All students were juniors or seniors. Subjects' ages ranged from 18 to 64.

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Table 3-4 Summary table of descriptive statistics on sample subjects N=104 SEX: RACE: AGE: EDUCATION: INCOME: Male 15 Female 89 White 94 Black 6 Asian 2 Hispanic 1 Other 1 18-24 91 25-34 6 35-49 6 50-64 1 Some high school High school diploma Some college Associate/vocational degree Bachelor's degree Graduate/professional degree Other 0 1 39 53 9 2 0 Less than $6,000 6 $48,000-$53,999 $ 6,000-$11,999 5 $54,000-$59,999 $12,000-$17,999 7 $60,000 or more $18,000-$23,999 6 $24,000-$29,999 2 (Missing= 3) $30,000-$35,999 8 $36,000-$41,999 6 $42,000-$47,999 7 11 5 38 70

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71 Method Two stimulus news stories were rewritten to follow three schematic structures: (a) the prototypical Newsom and Wollert (1988) "modified inverted pyramid" news structure, (b) the Mandler and Johnson (1977) story grammar, and (c) the expository/attribution text structure described by Meyer (1975). Subjects were randomly assigned to one of the six passage conditions--Passage I news, Passage I narrative, Passage I expository, Passage II news, Passage II narrative, or Passage II expository. Each subject received a packet containing the measurement instruments. All measurement instruments and stimulus passages are included in Appendices A and B. Subjects were first asked to complete the Media Use Survey. Subjects were then presented with one of the two stimulus passages in one of the three organizational patterns. They were given sufficient time to read the passages; the stimuli were then removed. Subjects were next asked to complete a multiple-choice questionnaire requesting demographic information, and then they were given the WIRE test. Next, subjects were tested for strength of text schema by means of an unscrambling task based on three passages constructed according to prototypical narrative, news, and

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72 expository structures. These passages were written by the author; the narrative story was based on the fable "The Owl Who Was God" by James Thurber (Thurber, 1941), the expository text was based on a passage used in the 1978 Florida Literacy Test (Morrison, 1978), and the news story was an Associated Press story. Each subject was given a labeled envelope containing a number of slips of paper; each scrap of paper was printed with a node from the scrambled stimulus passage. Subjects were instructed to organize the pieces of paper so that they formed a typical text passage of the type printed on the front of the envelope--either news, narrative ("story"), or expository ("textbook"). The structure of the passage used for the unscrambling task corresponded to the structure of the initial stimulus passage that each subject read. Once the subjects had arranged the pieces of the passage to their satisfaction, they were asked to number the scraps in sequence. Subjects' sequencing of each passage was compared to the original, parsed version of the passage, and a difference score was computed to determine the correlation between subjects' organization of the nodes and the actual, prototypical organization. Subjects' reorganizations of the passage were scored by comparing the relative order of propositions in the subject-generated passages to the original, correctly organized passages. Scores were computed by calculating rank-order correlation coefficients (Spearman's rho)

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73 comparing subjects' ranking of the propositions to the rankings in the original passages (a full account of the scoring procedure is given in Appendix C; also see Hays, 1963, p. 645, for a more complete description of the calculation of difference scores and their use in computing rank-order correlation coefficients). Various methods may be applied to the calculation of rank-order correlations. Perhaps the simplest way to calculate the proportion of pairs of items having the same relative position in two rankings is a graphic method. In this method, the objects ranked are listed, once in the order of the first ranking, and once in the order of the second. Then straight lines are drawn connecting the same objects in the two parallel rankings. This method, however, is time-consuming, and was therefore rejected in favor of the computation of difference scores based on calculating the numerical difference between two rankings x ; and~ such that the difference score Di = xi Y ; and squaring the result. The sum of the squared differences was then used in the following formula to compute Spearman's rho, the rank order correlation coefficient: r = 1[ 6 f D~ J N(Nz. 1) After these three distractor tasks, subjects were asked to recall the stimulus passages and write them down using language as close to the originals as possible. Their

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74 instructions included the caveat that if they were not able to remember the original wording of the passage, approximations were permissible. Finally, subjects were asked to answer the comprehension questionnaire. The recall instrument was administered one week later to the same subjects. Subjects were asked to recall the passage they had read and write it down using language as close to the original as possible. Recalls were scored by parsing the subject-generated passages and recording the number of text elements r ecalled from the original for each node in the appropriate text grammar. These numbers were converted to percentages. A full explanation and example of the scoring procedure is given in Appendix C. Analysis To determine the overall effects of altering the structure of the stimulus news stories, an analysis of variance using the fixed-effects model was conducted to compare the mean recall and comprehension scores across the three text structure conditions for each of the two passages. Although the hypotheses, as stated above, focused on comparisons between pairs of means, the analyses of variance were efficient methods of summarizing the results. Each hypothesis was then tested by means of at-test

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comparing mean scores on the dependent variables as specified in the hypothesis. 75 All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS-X. The level of significance generally used in this study was = .05, although if 2 lay between .05 and .10, the relationship was judged to be statistically significant. Rejecting the null hypothesis at the .05 level indicates that if the null were true, the probability would be less than .05 of obtaining a test statistic value as favorable to the alternative hypothesis as the one observed. This research was in a sense exploratory in that the method and the measurement instruments were developed for this study and had not been refined through years of experimentation; thus, the signficance levels used were to some extent flexible. Some Considerations: Threats to External and Internal Validity As is the problem with most experiments conducted in controlled conditions, any results obtained cannot easily be generalized beyond the laboratory situation, which presents a serious, and inevitable, threat to the external validity of the proposed study. However, to compensate for this inherent flaw in the proposed method, threats to internal validity were minimized by randomizing subjects' assignment to the six experimental conditions, standardizing stimuli and experimental

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76 conditions, and controlling for variables which may have interfered with the relationship being studied. These steps helped ensure that the manipulation of the independent variable was the cause of any observed variation in the dependent variables. Internal validity in many experiments can be reduced because of maturation of subjects, mortality or attrition of the subject pool, history (i.e. some unexpected factor which may coincide with the independent variable and produce a similar effect), or reaction to a pretest. Since the proposed experiment was conducted within a fairly short time, it can be assumed that maturation, mortality, and history did not threaten this particular experiment. No stories similar to the stimulus passages appeared in local newspapers during that period. A pretest that may have interfered with performance on the measures of the dependent variables was not administered, so this threat to internal validity may also be ruled out; the absence of a pretest also eliminates any possibility of a regression toward the mean in scores on the dependent variable measures. Any threat to internal validity that may be due to inadequacy of the measurement instruments was minimized by testing all measures for reliability and validity before they were used. Some attrition occurred between the administration of the first set of instruments and the test

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77 of long-term recall, which may have affected the validity of these results to some extent.

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T a bl e 3-5 Conceptual and o per a ti ona l defini t i ons CONCEPTUALIZATION FOR PRESENT STUDY Te x t sche ma s: An idealized mental representa tion of the inf o rma t ional units in a typical example of a parti cular type of te x t and t h e re la tion ships a m ong th o s e units. Te x t structures or t ex t grammars: The underl yin g organizati o nal pattern of t he informational u n its i n a t e xt. OPERATIONALIZATION FOR PRESENT STUD Y The correlation between a subject s organization of the propositions corresponding to nodes in a text passage of a given type and the sequence of those propositions in a well-formed version of that passage. Parsing of stimulus passages to identify propositions correspond i ng to terminal nodes in story news and expository t ext grammars. Occasional rewriting of the passages to make them conform to identifiable grammars. BASED ON Mandler and Johnson (1977) : We use the term "story schema" to refer to an idealized internal representation of the parts of a typical story and the relationships among those parts. Stein and Glenn: (1979) : Stories can be described in terms of a hierarchical net work of categories and the logical relations that exist between those categ o ries '1 00

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Table 3-5--continued CONCEPTUALIZATION FOR PRESENT STUDY Recall: (short-term and long term): The degree to which a reader can retrieve, unaided, the information contained within a printed passage. Comprehension: The degree of accuracy with which readers can use literal, inferential, and evaluative skills to process information contained in a text passage. OPERATIONALIZATION FOR PRESENT STUDY The proportion of propo sitions in the stimulus passage each subject was able to regenerate in writing after reading the passage. The percentage of correct responses to a nine-item questionnaire containing textually explicit, textually implicit, and scriptally implicit questions based on the stimulus passage. BASED ON Graesser and Nakamura ( 1982) : When sub jects receive recall tests, they are given the script title and they write down as many actions as they can remember (pp 69-70) LeVoi (1986): Free recall occurs when the subject is free to recall any items and create and use helpful cues in any way he or she wishes (p. 105) Trabasso, van den Broek, and Liu (1988): In the assessment and promotion of under standing discourse, questions p l ay a central role. T he comprehender is asked questions in order to find out what he knows about the text '-I

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS AND ANALYSIS An investigation was conducted to determine whether altering the underlying organizational structure of a printed news passage would affect readers' recall and comprehension of the information contained in it. The independent variable in this experiment was the text structure of the passage, which was altered to follow a typical news, narrative, or expository structure. The dependent variables were short-term recall, long-term recall, and comprehension of the passage's informational content. Two passages were used as stimuli in the experiment. Subjects were randomly assigned to read either the passage about a captive-breeding program to protect the Florida panther or the passage about a political uprising in Surinam. General Results The data were analyzed to test the hypotheses proposed in Chapter 3. Initially, separate one-way analyses of variance were conducted for each passage to compare the mean recall and comprehension scores of subjects in each experimental condition and summarize the observed results. 8 0

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81 Detailed descriptions of these analyses as well as the statistics used to test each hypothesis are given below. Manipulating the structure of the stimulus stories had somewhat different effects on each of the dependent variables. Overall, it appeared that the subjects' short-term recall of the passages was significantly influenced by manipulation of the text structure,~ (2,50) = 2.881, 2 = .065 for the panther passage and F (2,45) = 3.529, 2 = .038 for the political uprising passage (Table 4-1). However, subjects' comprehension of the two passages, as measured by the ten-item questionnaire described in Chapter 3, did not appear to be significantly affected by the experimental manipulation overall, F (2,50) = 1.985, 2 = .148 for the panther passage and F (2,45) = 0.179, 2 = .836 for the political uprising passage (Table 4-2). Long-term recall appeared to be significantly affected only in the case of the panther passage, F (2,35) = 3.102, 2 = .057; no significant differences were found for the political upr i sing passage, F (2, 25) = 0.907, 2 = 0.416 (Table 4-3).

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Table 4-1 Analysis of variance of short-term recall across text structure SOURCE OF VARIATION Text Structure Residual Total Text Structure Residual Total SUM OF SQUARES 1424.29 12607.04 14031.33 DF MEAN SQUARE F SIG OFF Panther Passage 2 51 53 712.14 2.881 .065 247.19 264.74 Political Uprising Passage 898.88 5858.67 6757.55 2 46 48 449.44 3.529 .038 127.46 140.78 82

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83 Table 4-2 Analysis of variance of comprehension across text structure SOURCE OF SUM OF DF MEAN F SIG VARIATION SQUARES SQUARE OFF Panther passage Text Structure 2471.57 2 1235.78 1.985 .148 Residual 32380.53 52 622.70 Total 34852.10 54 645.40 Political Uprising Passage Text Structure 207.69 2 103.84 179 .836 Residual 26641.98 46 579.17 Total 26849.67 48 559.36

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84 Table 4-3 Analysis of variance of long-term recall across text structure SOURCE OF SUM OF OF MEAN F SIG VARIATION SQUARES SQUARE OFF Panther Passage Te4xt Structure 1007.14 2 503.57 3.102 .057 Residual 6006.75 37 162.34 Total 7013.90 39 179.84 Political U prising Passage Text Structure 155.64 2 7 7.82 .907 .416 Residual 2231.53 26 85.82 Total 2387.172 28 85.25 These broad trends were investigated in terms of the experimental hypotheses expressed in Chapter 3 by conducting a series oft-tests to study the differences in mean scores on the dependent variables between each pair of experimental groups. The results of these tests are discussed in the following sections. Effects of Altering the Text Structure on Short-Term Recall Hl: A text passage written to follow a narrative story grammar will be better remembered in the short term than the same passage organized according to an expository text grammar or a news story grammar;

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85 similarly, a text passage organized according to an expository text grammar will be better remembered than the same passage organized according to a news story grammar. The hypothesis predicting associations between the text structure of a passage and short-term recall was, overall, supported. This hypothesis was tested by comparing the mean short term recall scores of subjects who read the narrative version of each of the two stimulus text passages to the mean short-term recall scores of subjects who read the expository and news versions of each of the two stimulus passages. Results of the t-tests for each text condition are described below and shown in Tables 4-4 through 4-6. Narrative Versus News Grammars Panther passage The mean short-term recall score of subjects who read the narrative version of the panther passage was significantly higher (M = 31.7) than the mean score of subjects who read the news version of this passage (M = 22.3), .t (35) = 2.06, p = 0.024. Political uprising passage The data for the political uprising passage paralleled the findings for subjects who read the panther passage.

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86 Those subjects who read the narrative version of the political uprising passage also displayed better short-term recall of the passage's content than did subjects who read the news version of this passage. The mean short-term recall score of subjects who read the narrative version was 25.3, while the mean recall score of the group that read the news version was 14.9. The t-test indicated a significant difference between these two groups, t (33) = 2.59, p = 0.007. Table 4-4 Comoarison of mean short-term recall scores of narrative story group with news story group N Narrative 17 News 18 Narrative 18 News 15 MEAN 31.7 22.3 SD SE Panther Passage 12.83 13.83 3.11 3.26 Political Uprising Passage 25.3 14.9 14.34 6.50 3.40 1.68 T DF p 2.06 33 .024 2.59 31 007 Thus, in the case of both text passage conditions, the narrative structure appeared to result in better short-term recall of the passages' content than the news version. Hypothesis 1 was supported. Expository Versus News Grammars Again, separate t-tests were performed for subjects in each text passage condition to compare the mean short-term

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87 recall scores of subjects who read the expository version of each passage with those of subjects who read the news version of each passage. T-test results are reported below and given in Table 4-5. Panther passage The analysis showed that subjects had better short term recall of the passage written according to an expository text structure (M = 34.2) than of the passage written according to the news story structure (M = 22.3), t (37) = 2.14, p = 0.020. Political uprising passage Again, in the case of the political uprising passage, the short-term recall of the expository version of the passage was higher (M = 21.1) than short-term recall of the news version of the passage (M = 14.9), t (31) = 1.93, p =0.032. Thus, the second hypothesis was also supported by the experimental data. Narrative Versus Expository Grammars A third set oft-tests was conducted to compare subjects' short-term recall of the narrative version of each of the two passage to their short-term recall of the expository version of the each of the two passages. These results are given below and shown in Table 4-6.

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Table 4-5 Comparison of mean short-term recall scores of expository text group with news story group N MEAN SD SE T DF p Panther Passage 88 Expository 19 34.2 19.32 4.34 2.14 35 .020 News 18 22.3 13.82 3.25 Political Uprising Passage Expository 16 21.0 10.72 2.68 1.93 29 .032 News 15 14.9 6.50 1.67 Panther passage Although the mean short-term recall score of subjects who read the narrative version of the passage was found to be higher (M = 34.2) than that of subjects who read the expository version of the passage (M = 31.7), the differences were not statistically significant, t (36) = 0.46, p = 0.323. Political uprising passage Again, the short-term recall scores of subjects in the narrative condition were higher (M = 25.3) than those of subjects in the expository condition (M = 21.1), but the difference was not significant, t (34) = 0.97, p = 0.17. Effects of Altering the Text Structure on Long-Term Recall The hypothesls predicting that long-term recall of text content would vary with text structure was partially supported.

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89 Table 4-6 Com12arison of mean short-term recall scores of narrative story grou12 with ex12ository text grou12 N MEAN SD SE T DF p Panther Passage Narrative 17 31.7 12.83 3.11 .46 34 .323 Expository 19 34.2 19.33 4.34 Political U12rising Passage Narrative 18 25.3 14.34 3.40 .97 32 17 Expository 16 21.1 10.72 2.68 H2: A text passage written to follow a narrative story grammar will be better remembered in the long term than the same passage organized according to either an expository text grammar or a news story grammar; similarly, a text passage organized according to an expository text grammar will be better remembered than the same passage organized according to a news story grammar. Narrative Versus News Grammars The mean long-term recall scores differed between the group of subjects exposed to the narrative versions of the text passages and the group exposed to the news versions o f the passages. In general, it appears that the recall of th e narrative version was better than the recall of the news version (see Table 4-7 fort-test statistics).

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90 Panther passage The mean long-term recall score for the group of subjects who read the narrative version of the panther passage (M = 23.7) was considerably higher than the mean score of the group of subjects who read the news version of the same passage (M = 12.2). This difference was found to be significant, t (27) = 2.38, p = 0.013. Table 4-7. Comparison of mean long-term recall scores of narrative story group versus news story group N MEAN SD SE T OF Panther Passage Narrative 12 23.7 17.38 5.02 2.38 25 News 15 12.2 6.30 1.63 Political Upr i sing Passage Narrative 12 14.4 8.05 2.32 1.65 17 News 7 8.6 6.21 2.35 Political uprising passage p .013 .059 The mean long-term recall score of the subjects who read the narrative version of the political uprising passage (M = 14.4) was again higher than the mean score for those subjects who read the news version (M = 8.6), and the difference approached significance, t (19) = 1.65, p < 0.059.

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91 Expository Versus News Grammars The results of the t-test used to explore this part of the second hypothesis were inconclusive. Subjects who read the expository version of the panther passage had a significantly higher mean long-term recall score (M = 21.2) than subjects who read the news version of the panther passage (M = 12.2), t (28) = 2.33, 2 =0.014. In the case of subjects who read the political uprising passage, while the mean recall score of those who read the expository version was higher (M = 13.1) than the mean score of those who read the news version (M = 8.6), this difference was not found to be statistically significant, t (17) = 0.91, 2 = 0.188. The t-test results are shown in Table 4-8. Table 4-8. Com2arison of mean long-term recall scores of ex2ository text grou2 versus news story grou2 N MEAN SD SE T DF p Panther Passage Expository 13 21.2 13.32 3.69 2.33 26 .014 News 15 12.2 6.30 1.62 Political U2rising Passage Expository 10 13.1 11.96 3.78 .91 15 .188 News 7 8.6 6.21 2.35

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92 Narrative Versus Expository Grammars Here, differences in long-term recall between subjects who read the narrative versions and subjects who read the expository versions of the text passages were not statistically significant. T-test results are shown in Table 4-9. Table 4-9 Comparison of mean lono-term recall scores of narrative story group with expository text group N MEAN SD SE T DF Panther Passage p Narrative 12 Expository 13 23.7 21.2 17.38 13.32 5.02 3.69 .41 23 .344 Narrative 12 Expository 10 Panther passage Political Uprising Passage 14.4 13.1 8.05 11.96 2.32 3.78 .31 20 381 Altering the underlying text structure from narrative to expository did not affect long-term recall of the passage's content. The mean recall score of those reading the narrative version was 21.2 while the mean recall score of those reading the news version was 23.7, t (25) = 0.41, p =0.344. Political uprising passage Again, no significant differences were observed between the mean recall score of subjects who read the

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93 narrative version of this passage (M = 14.4) and subjects who read the expository version (M = 13.1), t (22) = 0.31, p = 0.381. Effects of Altering the Text Structure on Comprehension The hypothesis predicting that subjects' comprehension of text content would vary with changes in text structure was partially supported in the panther passage condition but not at all in the political uprising passage condition. Narrative Versus News Grammars T-tests were conducted to compare the mean comprehension scores of subjects who read the narrative versions of the two text passages to subjects who read the news versions of the two passages. Results are shown in Table 4-10. Panther passages The mean comprehension of the narrative version of the panther passage was 52.6, significantly higher than the mean comprehension score of 40.9 for the news version, t (34) = 1.78, p = 0.021. Political uprising passage In the case of subjects assigned to read the political uprising passage, the mean comprehension score for subjects who read the narrative version of this passage was somewhat

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94 Table 4-10. Com:garison of mean com:grehension scores of narrative sto:ry grou:g with news sto:ry grou:g N MEAN SD SE T OF p Panther Passage Narrative 17 52.6 20.30 4.92 1.78 34 .021 News 19 40.9 19.08 4.38 Political U:grising Passage Narrative 18 39.6 20.29 4.78 -.41 31 .342 News 15 42.6 21.95 5.67 lower (M = 39.6) than that for subjects who read the news version (M = 42.6). However, the difference was not statistically significant, t (33) = 0.41, n = 0.342. Exposito:ry Versus News Grammars The results of these t-tests, shown in Table 4-11, were mixed. Table 4-11. Com:garison of mean com:grehension scores of ex:gository text grou:g with news story grou:g N MEAN SD SE T OF p Panther Passage Expository 19 56.4 32.69 7.50 1.79 36 .041 News 19 40.9 19.08 4.38 Political U:grising Passage Expository 16 44.4 29.33 7.33 .20 29 .423 News 15 42.6 21.95 5.67

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95 Panther passage Subjects appeared to comprehend the passage written according to the expository structure better (M = 56.4) than the passage written according to the news structure (M = 40.9). This difference was significant (t (38) = 1.79, p = 0.041). Political uprising passage Again, the mean comprehension score of subjects in the expository structure condition was slightly higher (M = 44.4) than that of subjects in the news structure condition (M = 42.6), but the difference was not statistically significant (t (31) = 02.0, p = 0.423). Text structure did not significantly affect comprehension across text passage conditions. Narrative Versus Expository Grammars The mean comprehension scores of subjects who read the narrative version of each passage were compared to those of subjects who read the expository version of each passage using a set oft-tests (see Table 4-12).

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96 Table 4-12. Comparison of mean comprehension scores of narrative story group with expository text group N MEAN SD SE T DF p Panther Passage Narrative 17 52.6 20.30 4.92 .42 34 .340 Expository 19 56.4 32.69 7.50 Political Uprising Passage Narrative 18 39.6 20.29 4.78 .57 32 .287 Expository 16 44.4 29.33 7.33 Panther passage The comprehension scores of subjects who read the expository version of the panther passage were slightly, but not significantly, higher (M = 56.4) than the scores of subjects who read the narrative version of the panther passage (M = 52.6), t (36) = 0.42, p =0.340. Political uprising passage Similarly, the comprehension scores of subjects who read the expository version of the political uprising passage were slightly, but not significantly, higher (M = 44.4) than those of subjects who read the narrative version (M = 39.6), t (34) = o.57, p = 0.287.

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Summary In general, the hypothesis addressing the effects of manipulating the structure of a news story on short-term recall of the story's content was supported. 97 The hypothesis focusing on long-term retention of the text content was partially substantiated. Significantly more information appeared to be recalled from the narrative versions of both text passages as compared to the news versions, but while subjects' long-term recall scores were numerically higher for the expository versions than for the news versions of the passages, these differences were statistically significant only in the case of the panther passage. No significant differences in long-term recall were apparent between subjects who read the narrative versions of the passages versus those who read the expository versions. The hypothesis which predicted that comprehension of a text passage's content would be affected by manipulation of the passage's structure was also only partially supported. Subjects appeared to have significantly better comprehension of the narrative and expository versions of the panther passage as compared to the news version, but no such differences in comprehension were observed for the political uprising passage. No substantial differences in comprehension were found between the narrative and expository versions of either passage.

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98 Short-Term Recall of Text Content: A Closer Look At first glance, the results described in the preceding sections would imply that texts structured according to a narrative grammar or an expository structure facilitate short-term recall much more than texts organized according to the news inverted-pyramid model. In the short term, subjects appear to recall a greater net quantity of information from narrative and expository versions of a text than from a news version. But what precisely is recalled from each version of a particular passage? Mandler and Johnson (1978) in a similar experiment found that both children and adults tended to remember settings, beginnings, and outcomes from narrative passages, with adults also remembering attempts very well. Reactions and endings were not remembered as well by either age group. Meyer (1975) found that information "high" in the structure of a n expository passage (i.e., near the beginning of the passage) was better recalled than information "low" in the passage. Given that most text passages contain main points and supporting details, recall of the key facts would generally be considered more desirable than recall of the extraneous information in the text. Subjects' free-recall protocols were analyzed to examine the patterns of recall of the propositions representing terminal nodes in each experimental condition.

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99 Panther Passage The panther passage was presented to subjects in three versions: narrative, expository, and news. The analysis of subjects' short-term recall of each of these versions is discussed below. Expository version Subjects who read the expository version of the panther passage showed superior recall of the first node (in which the problem of the panther's extinction was stated), the fifth node (in which the solution to the problem--the captive breeding prograrn--was described), and the eighth node, in which some features of the Florida panther were described (see Table 4-13) The Florida panther passage was originally a news story. The key fact in the story, as evidenced by the lead sentence of the news version, was that a captive breeding program had been approved by federal and state officials to help prevent the extinction of the panther. In the expository version of the passage, this fact occurred in Node 5, which was one of the best-recalled nodes in the text. Thus, not only was the proportion of recall in the expository version of this passage significantly higher than in the news version, but the key fact was well recalled in the expository version.

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100 Table 4-13 Percentaaes of recall of the propositions representing each terminal node for the expository version of the panther passage NODE RECALLED RECALLED IT Node 1 Statement of the problem--endangered status of the Florida panther Node 2 Setting trajectory--description of the shrinking range of the panther Node 3 Explanation--prediction of panther's extinction in 25-40 years Node 4 Specific--comparison of panther's status to other species' and description of panther population Node 5 Solution--description of captive breeding program Node 6 Explanation--explanation of need for captive breeding program Node 7 Specific--goal of program Node 8 Attribution--attributes of panthers [N=19] Narrative version PERCENTAGE OF SUBJECTS WHO 78.9% 74.9% 42.1% 36.8% 73.7% 52.6% 47.4% 73.7% Subjects in the narrative condition of the panther passage exhibited the best recall of the first node in the

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101 story--the setting, in which the protagonist and the setting time and location were introduced (see Table 4-14). Every one of the 17 subjects who read this version of this story recalled something from this node, even though all the propositions in the node may not have been remembered by all the subjects. Recall was also high for events, attempts, and outcomes, corroborating patterns of recall of narratives observed by Mandler and Johnson (1978). While the data clearly indicate that subjects remembered the setting better than any other part of the narrative story, the key fact of the story (the approval of the captive breeding program), which occurred in Node 5, was also remembered well. Again, not only was the net quantity of information recalled higher in the narrative version of the text than in the news version, the key fact was remembered by more than half the subjects. News version The inverted pyramid model for news story organization is built by placing the informational content of the story in descending order of importance. Readers are expected to read and absorb the more important facts before the less important information. However, the node-by-node analysis

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102 Table 4-14 Percentaoes of recall of the propositions representing each terminal node for the narrative version of the panther passage NODE RECALLED Node 1 Setting--protagonist introduced, background information given Node 2 Event--shrinking range of Florida panther described Node 3 Internal reaction--protagonist's (and others') reactions to panther's plight described Node 4 Goal--protagonist's goal Node 5 Attempt--protagonist's involvement in captive breeding program Node 6 Outcome--projected outcome of program Node 7 Consequence--prediction that without intervention, panther will disappear in 20-40 years [N=17] PERCENTAGE OF SUBJECTS WHO RECALLED IT 100.0% 70.6% 64.7% 11.8% 58.8% 47.1% 29.4%

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103 of the recall protocols for the news version of the panther text passage did not indicate such a trend (see Table 4-15). In fact, readers showed superior recall of the last element in the inverted pyramid, denoted the "Details" node in the Newsom and Wollert (1988) inverted pyramid. In a news story, the least important information is placed in this node. Of the 19 readers who received the news version of the panther passage, 14 (73.7%) remembered something from this node. The second-highest recalled node was the lead, which included the most important fact in the story; this node was recalled by 63.2% of the subjects. The inverted pyramid organization of the news story contributes to subjects' ability to remember the information in the lead, but earlier data analysis showed that an overall lower proportion of information from the news version of the passage was remembered compared with the proportion of information recalled from the narrative and expository versions. On the basis of the data analysis above, it does appear that the key fact of the passage was equally well remembered in all three versions.

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104 Table 4-15 Frequencies of recall of the propositions representing each terminal node for the news version of the panther passage NODE RECALLED Node 1 Setting--planned capture of ten Florida panthers described Node 2 Tie-in--approval of captive-breeding program and its general goal reported Node 3 Elaboration of lead--comment from wildlife official Node 4 Support for lead--second wildlife official's description of panther population Node 5 Background--comparison of status of panther to other endangered species' Node 6 Development of main idea--goal of program described Node 7 Details--attributes of panther [N=19] PERCENTAGE OF SUBJECTS WHO RECALLED IT 63.2% 52.6% 36.8% 10.5% 31.6% 26.3% 73.7%

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105 Political Uprising Passage The political uprising passage was rewritten into three text structures (news, narrative, and expository) that were presented as stimuli in the experiment. Subjects' recall of each of these versions is discussed in detail below. Expository version Subjects who read the expository version of the passage about the political uprising in Surinam appeared to remember propositions from the first, second and fifth nodes better than any others (see Table 4-16). The first node contained a topic sentence giving the theme of the passage. The second node described an incident in which soldiers broke through a barricade of pro-democracy demonstrators, allowing a military convoy to drive into the capital city. The sentences comprising the fifth node described a later incident in which 40 demonstrators were injured after storming the gate of a military base. To determine what the key fact of this text passage was, it is necessary to look at the lead sentence of the news version of the passage. The sentence reads: Soldiers fought through a barricade of pro-democracy demonstrators on the outskirts of the South American city of Paramaribo Monday, injuring about 40 people and allowing a convoy of tanks and trucks to drive into the capital, witnesses said.

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106 Table 4-16 Frequencies of recall of the propositions representing each terminal node for the expository version of the political uprising passage Node Node 1 Setting location--topic sentence describing passage's theme and geographical setting Node 2 Explanation--describes soldiers breaking through pro-democracy demonstrators, allowing convoy into city Node 3 Specific--details of the struggle Node 4 Setting trajectory--convoy's movements through city to base Node 5 Percentage of subjects who recalled it 75.0% 56.3% 43.8% 37.5% Covariance--later incident; demonstrators storm base's gates; 40 injured 62.5% Node 6 Specific--government's attempts to regain control of city Node 7 Consequent--government reaction Node 8 Alternative--description of political situation Node 9 Adversative--prediction of future political climate [N=16] 37.5% 18.8% 25.0% 18.8%

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107 This information is contained in the first, second and fifth nodes of the expository version, which were the best remembered nodes in that experimental condition. So the expository text structure appears to have facilitated recall of the key facts. Again, a larger proportion of the passage was recalled from this version than from the news version, and the key facts were the ones best recalled by the subjects reading this version of the passage. Narrative version In this version of the passage, the key facts (as described above) were found in the second node (Event I), and the sixth node (Outcome). In this experimental condition, the key facts were not the best recalled (see Table 4-17). Only half the subjects or fewer recalled the key facts. Here, the setting, the outcome, and the consequence were the nodes most frequently remembered by subjects reading this passage. Thus, organizing the information in this passage according to a narrative grammar resulted in high overall recall, but the passage's key points were not those best remembered.

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108 Table 4-17 Frequencies of recall of the propositions representing each terminal node for the narrative version of the political uprising passage NODE Node 1 Setting--gives geographical and temporal location and background information Node 2 Event !--describes soldiers breaking through demonstrators to let convoy into city Node 3 Event II--describes movement of convoy through city Node 4 Internal reaction--demonstrators' reactions to military attack Node 5 Attempt--describes demonstrators storming gates of military camp Node 6 Outcome--40 people injured Node 7 Consequence--government reaction to incident [N = l8] PERCENTAGE OF SUBJECTS WHO RECALLED IT 94.4% 44.4% 38.9% 5.6% 44.4% 50.0% 66.7%

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109 News version Subjects who read the news version of the political uprising passage remembered the key facts well--10 of the 15 subjects in this condition remembered something from the lead paragraph (see Table 4-18). Subjects also showed high recall of the third node, in which the main point was elaborated upon, and the seventh node, which contained the least important details. The overall proportion of information recalled from the news version of the passage was lower than for the other two versions, but the best-recalled nodes were the two incidents key to the passage. Thus, it appears that for the political uprising passage, the news structure was conducive to recall of the key facts in the passage, if little else. su mm ary of Analysis of Short-Term Recall Protocols Closer examination of the short-term recall protocols indicated that key facts from the three versions of the passages were equally well remembered in each of the three structural conditions for the panther passage, while in the case of the uprising passage, key facts were equally well remembered in the expository and news versions but not the narrative version.

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110 Table 4-18 Frequencies of recall of the propositions representing each terminal node for the news version of the political uprising passage NODE PERCENTAGE OF RECALLED SUBJECTS WHO RECALLED IT Node 1 Lead--describes soldiers 66.7% breaking through barricades of demonstrators to allow military convoy into city Node 2 Tie-in--describes soldiers 33.3% Node 3 Elaboration on main point-66.7% movement of convoy; people's attack on military base Node 4 Support for the lead--attack was 6.7% first sign of anatgonism from government Node 5 Background--describes history of 13.3% demonstrations Node 6 Development of main idea--injuries Node 7 Details--government reaction, description of political climate [N=l5] 40.0% 60.0%

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111 Some Theoretical Implications: Correspondence of Strenath of Text Schema with Recall and Comprehension The statistical analyses described above indicated that the structure of a text passage had a significant influence on readers' overall short-term recall of the passage. In general, readers demonstrated superior net recall of the information in texts ordered according to expository and narrative structures than of texts according to an "inverted pyramid" news structure. These observed phenomena would best be explained in terms of schema theory: Recall of the narrative and expository texts would be better if readers' schemas for the narrative and expository structures were better developed than their schemas for the news structure. In general, this should hold true for most individuals. Research indicates that narrative or story grammars are the text structures first acquired by most readers (Applebee, 1978). Expository structures are introduced in the early school years. Exposure to news structures occurs much later in developmental terms; thus, logically, news structure schemas would not be generally as firmly instantiated or as elaborate as schemas for the more familiar narrative and expository structures. I n addition, regular newspaper readers would have better news structure schemas than those who do not read newspapers frequently.

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112 The t-tests seemed to partially support this theoretical explanation in that the mean schema score for the narrative structure was generally higher in both passage conditions than the mean schema score for news structure (see Table 4-19). For subjects reading the "panther" passage, the mean schema score for narrative structure was 96.6, while the mean schema score for news structure was 71.6. For subjects reading the "uprising" passage condition, the mean schema score for narrative structure was 96.2, while the mean schema score for news structure was 83.3. Table 4-19. Comparison of mean strength of schema scores of narrative story group with news story group N MEAN SD SE T DF p Panther Passage Narrative 17 96.6 6.50 1.58 4.19 34 .000 News 19 71.6 23.78 5.46 Political Uprising Passage Narrative 18 96.2 6.85 1.61 2.83 31 .008 News 15 83.3 17.84 4.61 Subjects generally seemed to possess better developed news schemas than expository schemas, although short-term recall of expository text was higher in both groups (see Table 4-20). For subjects who read the panther passage, the mean schema score for expository text was 53.0 while the

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113 mean schema score for news text was 71.6. Similarly, for subjec t s who read the uprising passage, the mean schema score for expository text was 58.1, but the mean schema score for news text was higher--83.3. These results run contrary to the relationships predicted by schema theory, but may be a function of instrumentation, in that the passage used for the unscrambling task assessing strength of text schema was parsed into more elements than the news task. Table 4-20. Comparison of m ean strength of schema scores of expository text group with news story group N MEAN SD SE T OF p Panther Passage Expository 19 53.0 24 53 5.63 -2.38 36 .012 News 19 71.6 23.78 5.46 Political Uprising Passage Expository 16 58.1 19.44 4.86 -3.75 29 .001 News 15 83.3 17.85 4.61 It is conjecturable that subjects who frequently read newspapers would have better-developed schemas for the structure of printed news stories than readers who did not often read newspapers. Mean scores on the "strength of schema" task for subjects who received the news versions of the passages were compared on the basis of their responses to the media use survey regarding frequency of news reading.

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114 Both media surveys contained the question, "How often would you say you read a newspaper?" Possible answers were: (a) Never (b) Infrequently ( c) Once a week (d) A few times a week (e) Daily or more often Subjects answering (a) or ( b) were grouped as infrequent newspaper readers, while those answering (c), (d) or (e) were grouped as frequent readers. Table 4-21 shows the t-test results when mean scores on the "strength of schema" task were compared between these two groups. Table 4-21 Comparison of mean strength of news schema score between infrequent newspapers readers and frequent newspaper readers N MEAN SD SE T DF P Frequent newspaper readers 8 73.1 26.35 7.95 0.32 17 0.755 Infrequent newspaper readers 11 69.5 21.29 7.53 It will be seen that numerically, the mean score for strength of news structure schema was higher among readers who were frequent newspaper readers, but the difference was not statistically significant, perhaps due to the small number of subjects assigned to the "news" passage condition. The notion that short-term recall may be related to strength of a subject's text schema for a particular text

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115 structure was further examined by computing a Pearson product-moment correlation coefficient to measure the association between short-term recall and strength of text schema. In each experimental condition, a Pearson correlation coefficient was calculated between subjects' scores on the measure of short-term recall and the strength of their text schemas. These data are provided in Table 422. Contrary to what might have been expected, significant correlations were not found in any of the six experimental conditions. Table 4-22 Correlations between strenqth of text schema and short-term recall CORRELATION PASSAGE STRUCTURE N COEFFICIENTP Panther Expository 19 .16 .260 Panther Narrative 17 .19 .234 Panther News 18 .15 .278 Uprising Expository 16 .06 .418 Uprising Narrative 17 .17 .248 Uprising News 15 .10 .367 Scatterplots of short-term recall scores against strength of text schema scores clarify, to some extent, the lack of any significant association between these two variables. Figures 4-1 through 4-6 show that subjects' scores within each experimental condition were not distributed

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116 across a wide range. Rather, they tended to clump together, violating the underlying assumption of the Pearson product moment coefficient that a straight line is the model for the relationship under scrutiny. While it is probable that an association exists between text schema and short-term recall of a passage, it is also possible that some ceiling effect might limit the extent of the correlation. Such an association could only be accurately measured using a larger group of subjects whose scores on both measures were distributed over a wider numerical range, so that any linear relationship between the two variables could be observed and analyzed. The inital F and t-tests indicated that altering the structure of the texts had no significant effect on comprehension of the texts' content. Thus differential comprehension of the text passages is a function of some factor other than text structure. Comprehension was measured in this study partly in terms of literal or factual information drawn from the stimulus texts and partly in terms of inferential and evaluative ability. The latter two skills depend almost entirely on readers' prior knowledge of the topic of the text. Thus, content schemas might supercede structure schemas insofar as comprehension is concerned. Such a finding would be consistent with results obtained by

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s T R E N G T II u F T E )( T s C H E M A r' I UT lJF j( lt E MA Wini lllCJ\ll l l U I I I I I I I l 1 00 + I l I I I 11 I I I l I I \ I I I I 80 I l I I I I l I 1 I I I I I 1 I I I l l I 1 I 4n+ 1 I I I 1 I I I t 1 I I 1 I I I I I O + I I I I I I I I -20 + + l I I I l I 1 I -40+ t 1 1 0 I ll 2Q )Q 41 50 t,') Still 'T TERM HI (All I I ( A :, l <; I' I I T I LI l Fi g ure 4 1. Plot of short-term recall scores against str e ngth of text schema, panther story, news version ..... --.J

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''LU f If '.; (HEMA WI Tit R L C fll L I 1 I I 2 I I I l I l I I I ')() 1 I I + I I I I S 1 I T I I R 1 E I I N I 2 I G I I T I I H I I 0 I I F 1 1 I I I T (,0 t E I I X I I T 1 I 1 I S C I I H I I E I I M I I A I I 1 I I I I I 30+ l 1 I I I I I I I 20 + ,, 0 4 t3 1 2 1 6 2 () 2 4 2 fl S ll t JllT T !:l{H R I C ALL I ' (, \ _;[ l'llJ I r u i. Figure 4-2. Plot of short-term rec al l scores against strength of t ex t schema, uprising story, news version I--' ),.... 00

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s T R E N G T H D F T E X T s C ti E M A l'L U T U F S CHEMA Wlhl RlCA LL ++ ---+ ---+ ---+ ----+---+ ---+ ---+--+----+--+ ---+ -+--+ ----+-+ ---++ l 00 +1 1 1 1 / 7. C, .. 1 I 1 1 95 t 1 I I 1 qz ~ .. I 1 1 I J u t 1 1 I 1 I ) 7 5 t1 1 I 1 U ~ + l 1 1 I 11 1131 l l l I 2 + I I I I I I I I + I I I I I I I I I I I I t I I I I I I I I Ul o 5 + ti I I I 1 I I I 80 + -1 0 0 1 0 2 0 30 4 0 C,Q 60 7 0 S II UfU T E I U I t{l C AL L l 7 [A_;l S f L I Jf I [ll Fi.gu r e [i 3 Plo t of s h or t-t erm reca ] 1 scores agai n st s t t"e n g th of tex t sc h ema p a nth e r s tory, n a rr a ti ve ve r s ion 1--' I.O

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s T R E N G T It n F T E X T s C ., f. M A 1-'LUT JF SCHEM A W IT II f {l" (All 10 5 + I I I I I I I I l 00 + l l l l I 11 l 2 2 I I I I I I I I I 95+ l I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I l l I I I I I 1 I I I 1 I I I I I I I I ]'., I I I I I I I I + I I I I I I I I 65 -1 0 0 1 0 20 30 40 50 60 ?O S! I U~ T TE:RM K [ CALL I I CA : I :; I' L lJ l T L U Figure 4-4. Plot of short-term recall score against strength of t ext schema, uprising stor y, narrative version i--" N 0

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1 R E N G T H 0 F T E X T s C H E M A PLOT OF SCHEMA WITH RECALL + 1 I I I I I 1 I l llU + I I 1 I I I 1 I l l I au+ 1 1 + 1 1 1 I I I 1 1 1 60 +l l l + 1 l l l I I 1 l I I l I I I I I l 1 I I 1 I 1 I 20+I l 1 I 1 I l I I I O+ 1 l I l I I I I z o+ I I l I I I l I 40+ + 0 l U 20 30 40 50 60 7 0 SI IIJl{T TERM R !c CALL I ? (I\ :; [ $ l'L IJ fTL !l Fi g ur e 4-5. Plot of short-t e rm r e call scor e s against str e n g th of t e xt sch ema panther story, news v e rsion ... N

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f' L U T l it '.i UIEMA WI Tll IU C \L L 9[) l I l I 1 I I I I Ol H I r I I I I s I I T I I 1 R 7ll I + F. I I I N I I G I l I T I I I I H t. U I l I 0 I I I F I I I I T () +E I I X I l r T I I I I I s C I I H I 2 I E I I M I I A I I I I I I I I ZO I I I l I I I I I '> I ') l :, 2 () 2 5 J O J 5 1 '.:: II I P. T T Ert M Rt:C ALL I i, r I\ :, l '., I' L ,r f l l. Figure 4-6. Plot of short-term recall scores against strength of text schema, uprising story, news version :N N

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123 Ohlhausen and Roller (1988), who found that when texts were well-structured, i.e. when they closely followed a familiar pattern of organization, content schemas played a more important role than text structures in the processing of the text content. The idea that comprehension might depend more on subjects' content schemas than on their text schemas was tested by comparing the comprehension scores of subjects with high prior knowledge of the topics of the passages they read and subjects with low prior knowledge of the topics. Prior knowledge was assessed on the basis of the two general-knowledge questions asked at the end of the Media Use surveys (see Appendix A). Subjects who read the panther panther were asked to identify endangered species native to Florida from a list of six (the correct responses were the manatee, the bald eagle, and the panther) and to name the principal environmental regulatory agencies in Florida from a list of five (the correct responses were the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Florida Fish and Game Commission, and the Environmental Protection Agency). Subjects who read the uprising passage were asked to identify the countries that had experienced political upheaval in the last year from a list of six (correct responses were Rumania, China, Albania Argentina, and Czechoslovakia) and to select the name of the president of Chile from a list of four (the correct answer was Augusto Pinochet).

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124 Subjects scoring more than 70% on these multiple-choice responses (a grade of "C" by University of Florida standards) were designated as having high prior knowledge of the topic of the passage, while all others made up the "low prior knowledge" group. The mean comprehension scores of subjects in each of these groups were compared using at test (see Table 4-23). Table 4-23 Comparison of mean comprehension scores of subjects with high prior knowledge versus subjects with low prior knowledge Prior Knowledge N MEAN Panther Passage SD SE T DF p High 4 51 59.5 49.1 17.18 25.91 8.59 3.63 0.78 53 218 Low Prior Knowledge High Low 6 43 Political Uprising Passage 42.5 42.0 17.64 24.54 7.20 3.74 0.05 47 0.482 Contrary to expectations, no significant differences in comprehension were found between these groups in either passage condition (for the panther passage, t (55) = 0.78, p = 0.218; for the uprising passage t (49) = 0.05, 2 = 0.482). Although these findings do not fit with what is known about the role of prior knowledge in comprehension, they may

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125 be explained by the fact that the vast majority of the subjects had low prior knowledge of the topics. Thus, the size of the two groups compared in the t-tests were widely disparate, resulting in the observed lack of significance. It is entirely probable that content schemas may supercede text schemas in the comprehension process, but the data available in this study were not sufficient to analyze this possibility in any detail. Comprehension scores were also compared on the basis of subjects' expressed interest in the topics of the two passages (see Table 4-24). Readers were asked to respond to the question, "Are you interested in keeping up with environmental and wildlife conservation issues?" before reading the panther passage and the question, "Are you interested in keeping up with international news events?" before reading the uprising passage (see the two Media Use surveys in Appendix A). Responses to this question were used as a measure of interest in the passage's content. The range of possible responses to these questions was: (a) No, not at all (b) Not very interested (c) Fairly interested (d) Very interested (e) Extremely interested

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126 Table 4-24 Comparison of mean comprehension scores of subjects with high interest in the passage topic versus subjects with low interest in the passage topic N MEAN SD SE T OF p Panther Passage Low interest 33 43.5 20.10 3.50 2.36 53 .011 High interest 22 59.4 29.78 6.35 Uprising Passage Low interest 34 39.4 26.75 4.59 1.21 47 0.117 High interest 15 48.2 13.20 3.41 Only two out of 104 subjects repsonded with, "No, not at all," so social desirability may have influenced the responses to some extent. Even students who admittedly never read a newspaper or listened to extended radio broadcasts, and only infrequently watched television news, assessed their own interest in these topics as being in the mid-range (see Table 4-25). Therefore, subjects responding to the interest question with either (a), (b), or (c) were grouped together as having low interest in the topic, while subjects responding with (d) or (e) were classified as the high-interest group. Results of the t-test used to compare mean comprehension scores for subjects with low interest in the topic of the passage and subjects with high topic interest

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Table 4-25 Cross-tabulations of freQuency of news media use with interest in :passage topic FREQUENCY OF NEWSPAPER READI N G O nce a A few times Da il y or INTEREST Never Infrequently week a week more often IN PASSAGE TOPIC Not at all interested 0 1 0 1 0 Not very interested 0 8 3 5 0 Fairly interested 1 10 8 25 5 Very interested 0 7 3 10 5 Extremely interested 0 3 1 5 3 Total l 29 15 16 13 T o tal 2 16 4 9 25 12 1Q1 N --...J

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Table 4-25--continued INTEREST Nev e r IN PASSAGE TOPIC Not at all interested 0 Not v e ry interest ed 0 Fairly interested 1 Very interested 0 Extremely interested 1 Total 2 FREQUENCY OF TELEVISION NEWS VIEWING Once a A few times In frequently w eek a week 1 0 1 4 5 5 9 7 23 6 1 12 1 2 3 2 1 1 5 44 Daily or more often 0 2 9 6 5 22 Total 2 16 49 25 12 1 04 ...... N 00

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Table 4-25--continued INTEREST Never IN PASSAGE TOPIC Not at all interested 1 Not very interested 10 Fairly interested 23 Very interested 10 Extremely interested 4 TQtal 18 FREQUENCY OF RADIO NEWS LISTENING Once a A few times Infrequently week a week 1 0 0 4 0 2 19 2 5 12 1 0 4 1 3 4 1 3 Daily or more often 0 0 0 2 0 Q Total 2 16 49 12 12 1 2 N

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130 indicate that interest appeared to increase comprehension of both passages, though the observed differences in mean comprehension scores were significant only in the panther passage condition. Comprehension: A Closer Look The nine-item questionnaires used to assess subjects' comprehension of the two stimulus passage contained questions constructed according to the criteria outlined by Pearson and Johnson (1978) for textually explicit, textually implicit, and scriptally implicit assessment questions, as described in an earlier chapter. The initial analysis of the overall comprehension scores of subjects in each experimental condition indicated no consistent effect of altering the text structure on comprehension of the passages' content. To recapitulate, subjects appeared to have significantly better comprehension of the narrative and expository versions of the panther passage as compared to the news version, but no such differences in comprehension were observed for the uprising passage. No significant differences in comprehension were found between the narrative and expository versions of either passage. To attempt to find an explanation for the patterns of comprehension observed in these analyses, subjects' comprehension scores were broken down into three separate

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131 scores: comprehension of the textually explicit questions, comprehension of the textually implicit questions, and comprehension of the scriptally implicit questions. The textually explicit questions tapped literal recall of selected facts in the stimulus passages. The textually implicit questions required subjects to combine their recall of the passage's information with their own prior knowledge of the topic. The scriptally implicit questions were based entirely on subjects' prior knowledge of the topic. Because short-term recall varied according to the text structure of the stimulus passage, it would be expected that subjects' literal comprehension, based on the textually explicit questions, would vary in the same manner. This was, in fact, found to be the case for the panther passage, as shown by a series oft-tests conducted to compare the mean scores for each type of comprehension in each of the experimental conditions (see Table 4-26). For the panther passage, the mean comprehension score for the textually explicit questions was 48.3% in the narrative condition and 44.6% in the expository conditionslightly, but not significantly higher, for the narrative than for the expository structure (t = 0.34, 2 = 0.365). The mean comprehension score on the textually explicit questions in the news condition was 30.5%--significantly lower than in the expository condition (t = 1.78, 2 = 0.042) and the narrative condition (t = 1.77, 2 = 0.043).

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132 Table 4-26 Com12arison of mean com12rehension scores on textually ex12licit gyestions 1 textually im12licit gyestions 1 and scri12tally imQlicit gyestions N MEAN SD SE T DF p Panther Passage Textually ex12licit gyestions Expository 19 44.6 27.51 6.31 .34 34 .368 Narrative 17 48.3 37.93 9.20 Textually irn12licit gyestions Expository 19 52.6 39.87 9.15 .03 34 .490 Narrative 17 52.9 31.72 7.69 Scri12tally im12licit gyestions Expository 19 54.6 27.84 6.39 .80 34 .215 Narrative 17 62.7 33.69 8.17 Textually ex12licit gyestions Expository 19 44.6 27.51 6.31 1.78 36 .042 News 19 30.5 20.94 4.80 Textually im12licit gyestions Expository 19 52.6 39.87 9.15 .47 36 .319 News 19 47.4 27.51 6.31 Scri12tally irn12licit gyestions Expository 19 54.6 27.84 6.39 .90 36 .186 News 19 46.5 27.43 6.29 Textually ex12licit gyestions Narrative 17 48.3 37.93 9.20 1.77 34 .043 News 19 30.5 20.94 4.80

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133 Table 4-26--continued N MEAN SD SE T OF p Textually implicit questions Narrative 17 52.9 31.72 7.69 .56 34 .288 News 19 46.5 27.43 6.29 Scriptally implicit questions Narrative 19 54.6 27.84 6.39 .90 36 .186 News 19 46.5 27.43 6.29 Political Uprising Passage Textually explicit questions Expository 16 35.3 21.69 5.42 1.38 32 .089 Narrative 18 25.2 21.18 4.99 Textually implicit questions Expository 16 46.9 39.66 9.92 .19 32 .424 Narrative 18 44.4 33.82 7.97 Scriptally implicit questions Expository 16 41.8 21.36 5.34 -1.45 32 .078 Narrative 18 55.1 30.22 7.12 Textually explicit questions Expository 16 35.3 21.68 5.42 .20 29 .420 News 15 33.5 28.42 7.34 Textually implicit questions Expository 16 46.8 39.66 9.92 .15 29 .442 News 15 45.0 30.18 7.79 Scriptally implicit questions Expository 16 41.8 21.36 5.34 -.59 29 .562 News 15 47.8 33.91 8.76

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134 Table 4-26--continued N MEAN SD SE T DF p Textually explicit questions Narrative 16 35.3 21.69 5.42 .20 29 .420 News 15 33.5 28.42 7.34 Textually implicit questions Narrative 16 46.8 39.66 9.92 .15 29 .442 News 15 45.0 30.18 7.79 Scriptally implicit questions Narrative 16 41.9 21.36 5.34 -.59 29 .281 News 15 47.8 33.91 8.76

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135 As expected, these results parallel those observed for short-term recall of the three versions of the panther passage. In the case of the political uprising passage, the mean comprehension score on the textually explicit questions in the expository version of the passage was 35.3%, while that in the narrative version was 25.2%. This difference was not in the expected direction, since literal comprehension appeared to be lower in the narrative condition than in the expository condition, and the difference approached statistical significance (t = 1.38, 2 = 0.089). The mean literal comprehension score in the news version of the political uprising passage was 33.5%--not significantly lower than that in the expository condition (t = 0.20, 2 = 0.420) or significantly higher than that in the narrative condition (t = 0.96, 2 = 0.172). Because the textually implicit questions were partially, and the scriptally implicit questions entirely, based on subjects' prior knowledge of the topic, the comprehension scores based on these two sets of questions were not expected to vary with text structure; nor did they. The mean comprehension score based on the textually implicit questions was 52.6% in the expository condition, 52.9% in the narrative condition, and 47.4% in the news condition for the panther passage. No significant differences were found for these scores between the

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136 expository and narrative conditons (t = 0.03, 2 = 0.490), the expository and news conditions (t = 0.47, 2 = 0.320), or the narrative and news conditions (t = 0.56, 2 = 0.288). Similarly, in the political uprising passage, no significant differences were found for textually-implicit comprehension between the expository (M = 46.9%) and the narrative (M = 44.4%) conditions (t = 0.19, 2 = 0.424), the expository and news (M = 45.0%) conditions (t = 0.15, 2 = 0.442), or the narrative and news conditions (t = 0.05, 2 = 0.480). Text structure should not have affected comprehension based on the scriptally implicit questions, either. In the case of the panther passage, the mean comprehension score for scriptally implicit questions was 54.6% in the expository version and 62.8% in the narrative version (t = 0.80, 2 = 0.215); it was 46.5% in the news version, not significantly lower than the expository version (t = 0.90, 2 = 0.186). However, statistically signficant differences in this sort of comprehension were observed between the news version and the narrative version (t = 1.6, 2 = 0.059). For the political uprising passage, significant differences were not observed in comprehension based on scriptally implicit questions between the expository passage (M = 41.9%) and the narrative passage (55.1%) (t = 1.45, 2 = 0.078), the expository passage and the news passage (M =

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137 47.8%, t = 0.59, p = 0.281), or the narrative passage and the news passage (t = 0.65, p = 0.261). It is possible that the inconsistent patterns of comprehension scores stems from the fact that the majority of the subjects (94 out of 104, or 90 percent) had low prior knowledge of either of the topics of the passages (see Table 4-23) Summary of in-depth analysis of comprehension scores Subjects' comprehension scores were analyzed on the basis of question types. In the panther passage condition, literal comprehension (measured by the textually explicit questions) differed significantly between passage conditions. Inferential and evaluative comprehension, assessed by the textually and scriptally implicit questions, apparently were not affected by passage structure. In the uprising passage condition, literal comprehension differed significantly between the narrative and expository versions, but significant differences were neither observed between the narrative and news versions nor between the expository and news versions. No significant differences were found for comprehension based on textually implicit questions in the three conditions, but comprehension based on the scriptally implicit questions was

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138 significantly higher in the narrative condition as compared with the news condition, though not for any other pairs of structures. General Summary overall, it was found that altering the structure of news stories had a significant effect on the short-term recall of those stories but not on subjects' comprehension of the stories. In the short term, subjects remembered stories that followed narrative and expository structures better than stories following an inverted pyramid news structure. The results of altering text structure on long-term recall were inconclusive: subjects appeared to remember the narrative versions of the stimulus text passages better than the news versions, but superior recall of the expository version as compared with the news version was only observed in one passage condition. No significant differences in long-term recall were found between subjects who read the narrative version and subjects who read the expository version. Subjects were found to exhibit stronger schemas for the narrative structure than for the news structure, although the findings did not indicate stronger schemas for expository text structure than news structure.

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139 Closer examination of the short-term recall protocols indicated that key facts from the three versions of the passages were equally well remembered in each of the three structural conditions for the panther passages, while in the case of the uprising passage, key facts were equally well remembered in the expository and news versions but not the narrative version. Subjects' overall comprehension was not significantly different in any of the three structural conditions for the uprising passage, while it was significantly higher for the narrative and expository versions as compared with the news version of the panther passage. When subjects' aggregate comprehension scores were broken down into separate scores for textually explicit, textually implicit, and scriptally implicit questions, it was found that in the panther passage condition, literal comprehension (measured by the textually explicit questions) differed significantly between passage conditions, while the comprehension tapped by the textually and scriptally implicit questions, based largely on prior knowledge, was not affected by passage structure. However, in the case of the uprising passage, literal comprehension differed significantly only between the narrative and expository versions. Significant differences were neither observed between the narrative and news versions nor betw ee n the e xpository and n e ws ver s ions. No

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140 significant differences were found for comprehension based on textually implicit questions in the three conditions. A significantly higher mean comprehension score, based on the scriptally implicit questions, was observed for the narrative condition as compared with the news condition, though not for any other two sets of text structures. The inconsistent pattern of comprehension scores may be due to the generally low level of topic knowledge among the subjects. Significant differences in comprehension based on subjects' prior knowledge of the passage's topic were not observed; however, subjects' interest in the passage's topic was found to increase comprehension significantly in the panther passage condition.

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION The study described in the preceding chapters showed that altering the structure of a news story to conform to narrative and expository structures significantly enhanced short-term recall of the story's content. However, altering the story's structure did not appear to affect comprehension of the story in the same way: the patterns of comprehension in the different text structure conditions varied according to the topic of the text passage. Overall, long-term recall seemed to be affected by the alteration of the story's structure, with significant differences found between recall of the narrative and news structures. Differences were found between recall of the expository and news structures, but the difference was statistically significant only in the case of one story. No differences in long-term recall of the expository and narrative structures were seen. T h e oretical I mplications The results of the research s upport the general hypothesis that text structure affects short-term recall o f text content. This result can be e xplained on the 141

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142 theoretical grounds that generally, readers have better developed schemas for the structures of narrative and expository text, to which they are exposed early in life, than for the structure of news text, which is often first encountered in adolescence or later (see Nolan, 1989). The data indicate that readers' structural schemas for narrative texts are indeed significantly stronger than their schemas for news text. Although the experimental data obtained from this research did not establish that readers' structural schemas for expository text were significantly stronger than their schemas for news text, this result is possibly a consequence of poor instrumentation in the choice of story used for assessing strength of expository text schema. The expository passage was longer, more complicated, and parsed into more segments than the news and narrative stories used in this assessment. The narrative story was sectored into seven elements representing the terminal nodes in a story grammar according to the Mandler and Johnson (1978) representation. The news story was also sectored into seven elements based on the Newsom and Wollert (1988) inverted pyramid. But the expository text was divided into 12 parts representing rhetorical predicates that described the relationships between the ideas in the passage's content structure, according to Meyer's {1975) formulations. Subjects given the task of unscrambling the expository

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143 story, therefore, had to rearrange 12 separate elements instead of seven. This could explain the lower overall structural schema scores of subjects in the expository text condition. Readers' comprehension of the stimulus passages appeared to depend much more on their responses to passages' content than on the structure of the passage: Significant differences were found in comprehension scores between the narrative and news versions of the panther passage and between the expository and news versions of that passage, but no such differences were observed for the uprising passage. This appeared to be a function of subjects' interest in the topic. Twenty-two out of 55, o~ 40 percent, of the subjects reading the panther story expressed a high degree of interest in conservation topics, compared to 15 out of 49, or 30 percent, who expressed high interest in political news. Prior knowledge also has long been acknowledged as a significant factor in the comprehension of written text (Pearson, Hansen, & Gordon, 1979; Stahl & Jacobson, 1986; Just & Carpenter, 1984). This factor may actually be more influential than text structure when a reader is called on to make text-based inferences and judgements. In this study, most subjects exhibited low prior knowledge of the topics of both stimulus passages used, so assessment of the impact of prior knowledge on comprehension was difficult.

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However, it possible that some degree of interaction may occur between prior knowledge and text structure. 144 To some extent, the changes in long-term recall occurring as a result of altering the structures of the stories appeared to follow those observed for short-term recall. Marked differences were observed between long-term recall of the narrative structure as compared with long-term recall of the news structure of both passages. Significantly higher long-term recall of the expository structure as compared with the news structure was found in the case of the panther story, but not in the case of the uprising story. This may again have been due to subjects' generally low interest in the political topic combined perhaps with slightly weaker text schemas for expository structure. In general, the observed differences in long term recall would appear to be a function of the strengths of subjects' text schemas, with the text structure for which subjects showed stronger schemas being recalled better than the structures for which subjects did not have as strong schemas. In general, lower mean scores on all measures of the dependent variables were observed for the uprising passage as compared with the panther passage. This could have been due to the fact that the uprising passage was written at the 15th-grade level, as opposed to the 13th-grade readability level of the panther passage. The uprising passage was also

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145 longer and contained a greater number of details than the panther passage: Thus, a ceiling effect could have been imposed in that subjects receiving the panther passage could not score over a certain maximum percentage on the recall measures in terms of the number of propositions recalled from the passage. A few previous studies in mass communication have addressed the effects of altering the organization of news stories, but most of these were fairly informal studies wherein the texts used were not parsed according to identifiable underlying grammars, the structures were not systematically altered to adhere to those grammars, and the findings did not have theoretical support. Donohew (1982), for example, rewrote two news stories to follow a more narrative style, which he defined as the chronological ordering of facts along with more adjectives and active verbs than are normally used in a news story and more direct quotes. He found that readers responded more positively to the narrative style on measures of physiological arousal and mood. Housel {1984) compared recall and comprehension of a television news storx to that of the same story written to follow a narrative structure, but did not specify how the narrative version was organized. He found no significant effects of story structure on the dependent variables. Thorndyke {1979), in a similar study, rewrote four news stories to follow a narrative structure, which he defined as

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146 a chronological ordering of facts. He did not find that altering the structure in such a way systematically affected recall or comprehension of the stories. Rather, some of the stories were better recalled in the narrative form while others were not, leading Thorndyke to conclude that "different organizations were optimal for different stories" (p. 107). Nolan (1989) also rewrote inverted pyramid stories to follow a chronological form but did not find that familiarity with a particular organization affected ease of reading as measured by reading time. However, his subjects recalled the "gist" of the stories better in the inverted pyramid form than in the chronological form. These results appear to directly contradict the results obtained in the present research. An explanation of this could be that the roughly "chronological" ordering of the events in the stimulus stories used in the above experiments was not recognized by the subjects as a well-formed narrative structure. The basic nodes in the Mandler and Johnson (1977) story grammar have been identified as the common underlying elements of basic simple stories. Relationships between nodes in the Mandler and Johnson grammar are not always simply chronological: they may be also be simultaneous, where two nodes are connected through the notion of concurrent activity or temporally overlapping states, or causal, where one node provides a reason for the

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147 occurrence of a subsequent node. A simple chronological ordering of events might not take into account these alternative relationships between occurrences in a story and might not be recognizable to readers as a story grammar. Because the narrative passage used in this experiment closely followed the Mandler and Johnson story grammar, subjects' story schemas may actually have been activated and the stories more easily processed. Problems Encountered and Possible Solutions One problem brought to light after the analysis of the data collected in this study was the flawed instrument used to measure the strength of subjects' schemas for the structure of expository text. The passage used was parsed into a greater number of elements than the passages used to assess the strength of structural schemas for narrative and news structures. In a future study along these lines, the expository passage used for this unscrambling task should be divided into the same number of terminal nodes as the other two stories and should be of the same overall length and readability. A second possible impediment to the experiment was the fact that the two original news stories could not be rewritten to follow "perfect" narrative or expository structures. The panther passage had a protagonist in the narrative version, but it could be argued that a goal was

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148 implicit in the setting of the story in the phrase, "Dennis Jordan frowned at the last entry in his journal," where the frown is possibly indicative of a desire to combat the stated problem of the endangered status of the Florida panther. The political uprising news story in its narrative form was not an ideal story in that it had no single protagonist--the demonstrators were substituted for this component. As for expository writing, the uprising passage was much better suited to a narrative grammar than an expository/attribution grammar because of its clear sequence of events building up to an outcome. The panther story, however, was fairly easily rewritten to follow a good expository text structure. Problems in recall and comprehension may have been caused by forcing the passages into organizational patterns to which they were not well suited. In addition, the three text structures used in this research--news, narrative, and expository--were based on structural grammars developed by different researchers at three different times. The elements of the three structures could not be directly compared. The parsing of the passages in the three structural versions was done according to three different sets of rules. Parsing the passages according to a single, universally applicable text grammar might have resulted in recall protocols in the three versions that

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149 could more easily have been compared and analyzed on some common basis. In this study, subjects were instructed to read the stimulus stories and later to recall them and answer questions about them. This procedure did not really simulate the normal newsreading process. Thus, while the study isolated the variable of story structure and examined its effects on reading recall and comprehension, the actual impact of varying the structure of a news story on these processes during normal newsreading has still not been evaluated. A study in which the stimulus stories are embedded in a facsimile newspaper might be an improvement on the method used here. A fourth problem involved the overall experimental design. The results observed in the experiment could have been caused by interactions between the text structures and the strength of subjects' text schemas as well as perhaps their schemas for the content of the text. The method employed in this study did not include the assessment of each subject's schema for all three types of structurenews, narrative, and expository. Had this been measured, the design of the experiment could have been a repeated measures design. This would have allowed for a more complex and sensitive analysis of the observed variations in recall and comprehension.

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150 In addition, subjects in this study showed generally low levels of prior knowledge of the topics of both stimulus passages. A study using subjects with a wider range of levels of prior content knowledge would be of greater benefit to analysis of interactions of content and text schemas. Suggestions For Further Research The procedures outlined in this study describe a method of analyzing certain aspects of the assimilation of printed news stories during the reading process. However, this inquiry adds only a fragment of knowledge to an area of investigation still relatively new in mass communication. The individual receiver's cognitive processing of mass media messages is a subject that could be explored in far greater breadth and depth in future studies. As was suggested above, the strength of the reader's schema for the structure of the story could interact with the grammar of the story to affect recall and comprehension of the story's content. An elegant way to measure the interactions of subjects' text schemas with the text grammars of the stimulus passages would be to adminster all three stimulus passages and all three schema measures to all subjects. Such a study would necessitate the employment of a randomized block design involving repeated measures. A study along these lines would provide a greater understanding of the ways in which the organization of the

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151 news story affects the cognitive processing of its content. A third factor affecting these variables is prior knowledge of the story's topic--the strength of the reader's content schema. This variable should also be included in an analysis of this type. The greater strength of readers' schemas for narrative and expository text structures, as observed in this research, was explained in terms of the developmental acquisition of text schemas. Research indicates that people acquire story schemas at a very young age. Nonfiction text structures are introduced somewhat later, but still fairly early in developmental terms--sometime in the early school years. However, little information is available regarding the acquisition of news schemas. How are they acquired? When are they acquired? Why are they apparently not as firmly instantiated as other text schemas? Do the recall and comprehension of news information increase with developmental maturation? If so, why? Information about these aspects of the formation of news schemas would increase our understanding of news readers and their orientations to news messages. This study focuses solely on printed news storiesspecifically, newspaper stories. An examination of text structures used in other media and the effects of altering them might reveal more about information gain from other sources of news.

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152 Implications for the Field On the basis of the patterns of recall and comprehension observed in this study, it would appear that the "inverted pyramid" typically used as an organizational model by news writers is not always the text structure that would best facilitate recall or comprehension. Past research has supported the view that narrative writing is better received by readers than news stories. For instance, Donohew (1982) found that narrative-style stories, i.e. chronologically ordered stories that make use of "punchy" verbs and adjectives, produced greater physiological arousal and more favorable responses than traditional inverted pyramid news stories. Berner (1983) noted that "one drawback to good newswriting was the inverted pyramid" (p. 33). The inverted pyramid style discourages the use of traditional elements of language that lend lexical cohesiveness and logical coherence to text, instead relying on stylistic codes that often hinder comprehension (Smith & Voelz, 1983). In light of these findings, the inverted pyramid structure that serves as the prototype for news stories could be modified to optimize reading recall and comprehension. In this study, the narrative and expository versions of the two passages were best remembered by readers, with no significant differences between recall of these two structure in the case of either stimulus text passage. As

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153 was mentioned earlier, the panther passage appeared to be more suited to the expository grammar than the political uprising passage, while the latter appeared to be more easily rewritten as a story than as an expository text. Readers tended to remember settings, events, and consequences more than other nodes in the narrative structure. They tended to remember setting locations and trajectories, events, statements of problems and solutions, and explanations or attributions best from the expository texts. Thus, a news story structured in the following manner might be more easily recalled than a typical inverted pyramid story: I. Setting: As per the Mandler and Johnson (1978) story grammar, the setting (as opposed to the LEAD of news stories) would introduce the story's protagonist and other characters and give the time and locale of the story, as well as other key information needed to understand subsequent events. II. Initiating event: The most significant occurrence in the story--the main point, phrased in terms of a problem and solution if appropriate. III. Tie-in: Explication of the main event--quote, meaning or background of event--how something came to be. IV. Support for the event: Something to give credibility or significance to main point.

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154 v. Secondary theme (if one needs to be included). VI. Attributions: Any other details, in order of significance to the lead. VII. Outcome or consequence of the event(s) detailed in the story. Strong conclusion. As Berner (1983) has pointed out, not all news stories are suited to being written in a narrative fashion. "The nature of the news," he writes, "is an element in determining the packaging of the news" (p. 39). Thus, the same might be said for rewriting according to an expository text structure. However, when it is possible, it would seem that a structure that incorporates some of the features of the narrative structure or some of the features of the expository/attribu-tion structure along with the traditional and more expedient i nverted pyramid structure might result in a greater degree of recall and comprehension of the information conveyed in printed news messages. One benefit to newspaper readers may be the training of reporters and editors to recognize the type of text structure most suited to a particular topic. Then news stories could be written according to the structure that would best facilitate readers' recall and comprehension, rather than routinely following the inverted pyramid structure that is the norm today.

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that 155 Nolan (1989) writes that his investigations indicate story forms, be they natural phenomena or not, can be learned and unlearned through socialization. And like many learned things, conscious awareness of their attributes and experience in their use seem to make them more readily usable. (p. 132) If this is the case, it is possible that instruction in the organization of news stories could also benefit newsreaders in that it might facilitate comprehension of and memory for news, as well as increasing ease of reading. Programs like Newspapers In Education could incorporate instruction about inverted pyramid structure into classroom lessons, thus increasing young readers' ability to assimilate the information in news stories. The effects of such instruction could be measured to assess its usefulness as an educational tool. The inverted pyramid structure of news was developed mainly as a convenient adaptation to the technical requirements and limitations of the newsroom and the production process. However, as technology advances, the restrictions placed on writers and editors in terms of story length and structure are changing. With the introduction of desktop publishing and electronic pagination of newspapers, the need for last-minute composing-room shortening of stories is decreasing. Computerized newsrooms allow for more creative editing of stories, even on deadline. A reconsideration of the inverted pyramid and its utility as

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156 the basic news structure is in order. The results of this investigation might indicate that the pyramid may no longer be the optimum framework for the printed news message.

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APPENDIX A MEASUREMENT INSTRUMENTS Questionnaires Media Use Survey I 1. Do you try to keep up with current events and news items? a. Yes b. No 2. What is your main source of news? a. Television b. Newspapers c. Radio d. News magazines like "Time" or "Newsweek" e. Friends and other interpersonal sources f. Other (please specify) 3. How often would you say you read a newspaper? a. Never b. Infrequently c. Once a week d. A few times a week e. Daily or more often 157

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158 Media Use survey I (continued) 4. How often do you watch television news shows? a. Never b. Infrequently c. Once a week d. A few times a week e. Daily or more often 5. How often do you listen to radio news broadcasts that are 30 minutes long or longer? a. Never b. Infrequently c. Once a week d. A few times a week e. Daily or more often 6. Are you interested in keeping up with environmental and wildlife conservation issues? a. No, not at all b. Not very interested c. Fairly interested d. Very interested e. Extremely interested 7. Which of the following animals are endangered species native to Florida? a) b) c) the snowy egret the manatee the bald eagle d)the alligator e)the panther f)the condor

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159 Media Use Survey I (continued) 8. Which of the following agencies are primarily responsible for the preservation of endangered species in the state of Florida? a. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service b. The Seagrant Extension Program c. The Environmental Protection Agency d. The Florida Game and Freshwater Fish Commission e. The Florida Wildlife Conservation Agency

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Media Use survey II 1. Do you try to keep up with current events and news items? a. Yes b. No 2. What is your main source of news? a. Television b. Newspapers c. Radio d. News magazines like "Time" or "Newsweek" e. Friends and other interpersonal sources f. Other (please specify) 3. How often would you say you read a newspaper? a. Never b. Infrequently c. Once a week d. A few times a week e. Daily or more often 160

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161 Media Use Survey II (continued} 4. How often do you watch television news shows? a. Never b. Infrequently c. Once a week d. A few times a week e. Daily or more often 5. How often do you listen to radio news broadcasts that are 30 minutes long or longer? a. Never b. Infrequently c. Once a week d. A few times a week e. Daily or more often 6. Are you interested in keeping up with international news events? a. No, not at all b. Not very interested c. Fairly interested d. Very interested e. Extremely interested

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Media Use Survey II (continued) 7. In which of the following countries have violent uprisings occurred in the past twelve months? a. Rumania d. Albania b. c. Latvia China e. f. Argentina Czechoslovakia a. The name of the current ruler of the South American country of Chile is: a. Daniel Ortega b. Juan Esposito c. Augusto Pinochet d. Manuel Noriega 162

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163 Demographic Information Please provide the following information about yourself by circling the appropriate letter or by writing in the space provided. YOUR NAME SHOULD NOT APPEAR ANYWHERE ON THIS PAGE. Thank you for your assistance with this research. 1. Sex: a. Female b. Male 2. Age: a. 18-24 years old d. 50-64 years old b. 25-34 years old e. 65 or older c. 35-49 years old 3. Race: a. White d. Hispanic b. Black e. American Indian c. Asian f. Other 3. What is the highest level of education you have completed? a. b. c. d. e. Some high school High school diploma Some college Associate or vocational degree Bachelor's degree f. g. Graduate or other professional degree Other (please specify)

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164 Demographic Information (continued} 4. Please circle your approximate yearly family income: a. Under $6,000 g. $36,000 to $41,999 b. $6,000 to $11,999 h. $42,000 to $47,999 c. $12,000 to $17,999 i. $48,000 to $53,999 d. $18,000 to $23,999 j $54,000 to $59,999 e. $24,000 to $29,999 k. $60,000 or above f. $30,000 to $35,999

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165 Student Survey 1. Some adult students have told us that they have a difficult time getting to school. How did you get to your class (or classes) today? And how long did it take? Please write your answer on the lines below. This information may help us to help you. 2. We need to know how you found out about this educational program. We have tried to inform people about our classes, but are not always successful. Sometimes we miss the students who would like to go to school here. Please tell us how you found out about this program. 3. Adult students have many different needs and reasons for pursuing their education. Briefly, please describe a few of your academic needs and the goals you have set for yourself. If you need additional space, you may use the back of this sheet. Thanks.

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166 Student survey (continued) 4. A majority of students' knowledge comes from outside the school. Without fail, the media give daily--even constant--news for interested students. Do you gather most of your outside knowledge from radio, TV, or papers? Of the diverse topics presented in media reports--news, sports, features--which holds your interest longest? How much do you get world information from interpersonal sources?

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Story I News version Stimulus Passages Used to Assess Shortand Long-term Recall PLAN GIVES BIG CATS BOOST Breeding program for panthers OK'd 167 MIAMI (AP)--Ten Florida panthers roaming the wilds of South Florida are about to be chosen for a new life in captivity that may have important consequences for the survival of the endangered species. A captive-breeding program has been approved by federal and state officials to boost the shrinking panther population from an estimated 30 to 50 in the wild. "There are certain purists who say, 'Let them die a natural death out in the wild'," said John Christian of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "We need to consider their views, but on the other hand we are charged with halting the extinction of the species and moving toward its recovery." "It's no question the population is stressed. When you get down to a total population of 30 to 50 animals, you get to the point of facing the brink of extinction," said Dennis Jordan, Fish and Wildlife's Florida panther coordinator. "We consider we have one viable sustaining population now in South Florida and none anywhere else." But some wildlife managers say the Florida panther, a type of cougar, is in nowhere near the danger of the

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168 California condor or the black-footed ferret when their entire population was rounded up for captive breeding. The goal of the new program is 500 breeding adults in captivity and three wild colonies in 20 years using high tech methods such as radio-telemetry collars and possibly even in vitro techniques. The nocturnal cats, with adults weighing 60 to 120 pounds, are smaller and darker than most cougars and have a unique tail crook and a cowlick in the middle of their backs. The panther, which hunts deer and smaller game, is a solitary hunter that needs lots of room--at least 40 square miles for a female and more than 200 square miles for each male, with little overlap. The panther once ranged from Louisiana to South Carolina, but widespread hunting and urban sprawl have pushed it into the Everglades and the undeveloped center of South Florida. Without help, experts estimate, the panther will vanish in 25 to 40 years.

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169 Narrative version AN ARK FOR THE FLORIDA PANTHER Dennis Jordan frowned at the last entry in his journal: "The population is stressed. When you get down to a total population numbering 30 to 50 animals, you get into a situation of facing the brink of extinction. "We have one viable sustaining population now in South Florida and none anywhere else." The Florida panther was Dennis' passion. As the Florida panther coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, his knowledge of these nocturnal cats included a motley array of facts: Panthers are a smaller and darker subspecies of the cougar, distinguished by their tail crooks and the cowlicks in the middle of their backs. Solitary hunters of deer and small game, they need vast territoriesat least 40 square miles for a female and more than 200 for each male, with little overlap. An adult can weigh from 60 to 120 pounds. Panthers once ranged from Louisiana to South Carolina, but relentless hunting and urban sprawl pushed it deep into the Everglades and undeveloped parts of South Florida. Some wildlife managers, he knew, believed the panther to be in nowhere near the danger of other rare animals like the California condor and the black-footed ferret, whose entire populations were once rounded up for captive

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170 breeding. Some purists thought panthers should be left to die out naturally. His colleague John Christian often said, "We need to consider their views, but on the other hand we are charged with preventing the extinction of the species and moving toward its recovery." The plight of the panther angered Dennis; to combat the problem, he had become involved in a captive-breeding program approved by federal and state officials to boost the declining panther population. Ten wild Florida panthers would be chosen for a new life in captivity that might have extraordinary consequences for the survival of the species. The new program would use high-tech influences such as radio-telemetry collars and possibly even in vitro fertilization to produce 500 breeding adults in captivity and three wild colonies in 20 years. Without intervention, Dennis knew the Florida panther would vanish in 20 to 40 years.

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171 Expository version CONSERVATION OF THE FLORIDA PANTHER This article discusses the endangered status of the Florida panther. The panther once ranged from Louisiana to South Carolina, but widespread hunting and urban sprawl have pushed it into the Everglades and the undeveloped interior of South Florida. Without intervention, experts estimate, the panther will disappear in 25 to 40 years. Some wildlife managers say the Florida panther, a type of cougar, is in nowhere near the danger of the California condor or the black-footed ferret when their entire population was rounded up for captive breeding. But the population is stressed, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's panther coordinator, Dennis Jordan. When a total species population numbers 30 to 50 animals, the species is near extinction. There is one viable sustaining population in South Florida and none elsewhere. Recently, a captive-breeding program was approved by federal and state officials to boost the declining panther population from an estimated 30 to 50 in the wild. Ten Florida panthers roaming the wilds of South Florida are about to be chosen for a new life in captivity that may

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172 have extraordinary consequences for the survival of the endangered species. "There are certain purists who say, 'Let them die a natural death out in the wild'," says John Christian of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "We need to consider their views, but on the other hand we are charged with preventing the extinction of the species and moving toward its recovery." The goal of the program is 500 breeding adults in captivity and three wild colonies in 20 years using high tech influences such as radio-telemetry collars and possibly even in vitro fertilization Florida panthers are nocturnal animals, and with adults weighing 60 to 120 pounds, they are smaller and darker than most cougars. They have a distinctive tail crook and a cowlick in the middle of their backs. The panther, which favors deer and smaller game, is a solitary hunter that needs lots of room--at least 40 square miles for a female and more than 200 square miles for each male, with little overlap.

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173 Story II News version SOLDIERS, PROTESTERS CLASH IN SURINAM PARAMARIBO, SURINAM (UPI)--Soldiers fought through a barricade of pro-democracy demonstrators on the outskirts of the South American city of Paramaribo Monday, injuring about 40 people and allowing a convoy of tanks and trucks to drive into the capital, witnesses said. An American reporter who saw the confrontation, the first major violence reported in a month of protests, said soldiers and Armed Police paramilitary units with AK-47 assault rifles and truncheons cleared a path through the crowd for the convoy. Much of the convoy of 72 tanks and 300 trucks, stalled last week by barricades of cars, furniture and demonstrators, drove to a military camp about one mile closer to the center of Paramaribo, the capital of Surinam. Thousands of people rushed the camp's gate and began throwing rocks at windows and soldiers inside, the witness said. The troop action was the first sign of antagonism from the hard-line Surinam government in almost a month of anti communist demonstrations staged by students at Paramaribo University. At least 40 people were injured in the clash in the south-western suburb of Seguro, the witnesses said.

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174 Parts of the convoy had begun to try to move around the roadblock by a different street but were confronted by thousands of students and workers, witnesses said. The embattled government posted troops in newspaper offices and placed hospitals on alert Monday in its struggle to regain control of Paramaribo. President Augusto Muniz called the student movement "unpatriotic" and said protesters were "controlled by a small band of agitators who will be suppressed." The Surinam government faces a growing power struggle between leaders calling for a crackdown on the unrest and those calling for moderation. The situation is likely to worsen in coming weeks before a resolution is reached.

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175 Narrative version (first rewrite) A TALE OF AN UPRISING Not very long ago, in a distant land, students and citizens in Paramaribo began to stage demonstrations against their tyrannical government. The government tried to control the protests by despatching a military convoy of 72 tanks and 300 trucks to drive into the capital city, but the convoy was stalled by barricades of cars, furniture and demonstrators. Eventually--a week later--soldiers succeeded in fighting through a barricade of pro-democracy demonstrators on the outskirts of Paramaribo. A reporter from America who saw the confrontation, the first major violence reported in a month of protests, said soldiers and Armed Police paramilitary units with AK-47 assault rifles and truncheons cleared a path through the crowd for the convoy. Parts of the convoy had begun to try to move around the roadblock by a different street but were confronted by thousands of students and workers. Nevertheless, much of the convoy drove to a military camp about one mile closer to the center of Paramaribo, the capital of Surinam. Thousands of people, angered by the military attack, rushed the camp's gate and began throwing rocks at windows and soldiers inside. At least 40 people were injured in the clash in the south-western suburb of Segura.

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176 The embattled government struggled to regain control of Paramaribo by posting troops in newspaper offices and placing hospitals on alert. The president of the country, Augusto Muniz, called the student movement "unpatriotic." He said the protestors were "controlled by a small band of agitators who will be suppressed." The Surinam government is torn by a growing power struggle between leaders calling for a crackdown on unrest and those calling for moderation. The situation is likely to worsen in coming weeks before any resolution is reached.

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177 Expository version (second rewrite) A POLITICAL DISTURBANCE This essay describes a political clash in the small South American nation of Surinam. Soldiers in the capital city of Paramaribo fought through a barricade of pro-democracy demonstrators and allowed a convoy of tanks and trucks to drive into the capital. Four aspects of this struggle were: 1. The clash was the first major violence reported in a month of protests. 2. The troop action was the first sign of antagonism from the hard-line Surinam government in a month of anti communist demonstrations staged by students at Paramaribo University. 3. The military convoy's attempt last week to enter the city was stalled by barricades of cars, furniture, and demonstrators. 4. The convoy consisted of 72 tanks and 300 trucks. An American reporter who saw the confrontation said soldiers and Armed Police paramilitary units with AK-47 assault rifles and truncheons cleared a path through the crowd for the convoy. Much of the convoy drove to a military camp about one mile closer to the center of Paramaribo. The next significant event occurred when thousands of people rushed the camp's gate and began throwing rocks at

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178 windows and soldiers inside, the witness said. The result of this attack was that at least 40 people were injured in the clash in the southwestern suburb of Seguro. Finally, the embattled government struggled to regain control of Paramaribo by (1) posting troops in newspaper offices and (2) placing hospitals on alert on Monday. In reaction to these events, Surinam President Augusto Muniz called the student movement "unpatriotic" and said protesters were "controlled by a small band of agitators who will be suppressed." In conclusion, the Surinam government faces a growing power struggle between leaders calling for a crackdown on the unrest and those calling for moderation. The situation is likely to worsen in coming weeks before any resolution is reached.

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Stimulus Passages Used to Assess Strength of Text Schema Narrative passage THE TRIUMPH OF THE OWL 179 Once upon a starless midnight, an owl was ensconced, half-slumbering, on the branch of an oak tree when two ground moles attempted to slip by unperceived. "You!" cried the owl. "Who?" quavered the ground moles in utter terror and astonishment, because they could not believe it was possible for anyone to see them in that inky darkness. "You two!" exclaimed the owl. The ground moles hurried away and reported to the other creatures of the pastures and woodlands that the owl was the most omniscient and authoritative of all animals because he had nocturnal vision and because of his uncanny ability to answer any question. ''I'll see about that," asserted the secretary bird, and he called on the owl one night when it was again very dark. "How many claws am I holding up?" inquired the secretary bird, and the owl correctly responded, "Two.". "Can you give me another expression meaning 'that is to say' or 'namely'?" questioned the secretary bird; returned the owl, "To wit." "Why does a lover call on his love?" queried the secretary bird; "To woo," replied the owl. The secretary bird hastily returned to the other creatures and reported that the owl was certainly the most powerful and sagacious animal in the world because of his

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extraordinary ability to see in the dark and because he could answer any question, so the creatures despatched a messenger to the owl requesting that he become their sovereign. Word count: 241 180

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181 News passage VLADIMIR HOROWITZ DEAD AT 85 Vladimir Horowitz, whose brilliant technique and emotional profundity led many to consider him the 20th century's greatest pianist, died Sunday at his townhouse on New York City's upper East Side. Horowitz, 85, suffered a heart attack at about 12:30 p.m., said his manager, Peter Gelb. "I believe he died of some sort of massive, major heart attack," Gelb said, noting that details would have to come from medical officials. "Horowitz was undoubtedly the greatest pianist of the 20th century," said Glenn Plaskin, author of "Horowitz," a critical biography published in 1983. "He had more physical energy, more electricity, than any musician that came onto that platform. He was the Greta Garbo of the concert stage." His last concerts were in western Europe in 1987, Gelb said. He had a studio at his home and shortly before his death he had been at work on a recording of Haydn, Mozart, and Liszt. Funeral arrangements were uncertain. But Horowitz's wife, Wanda Toscanini, daughter of the late conductor Arturo Toscanini, is believed to want her husband buried in the Toscanini family burial plot in Milan, Italy, Gelb said.

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182 Throughout his life, Horowitz was renowned for his erratic behavior, Plaskin said. Plaskin described him as "temperamental, demanding and a perfectionist. He was extremely charming. He would have loved the attention he's getting now." Word count: 226

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183 Expository passage THE SHAMANS OF ANCIENT CULTURES For thousands of years man thought that everything around him--trees, streams, rocks--contained a spirit which could be either beneficent (good) or bad. Even sophisticated ancient Greeks believed in wood nymphs. When man first dwelt in caves or primitive shelters, he became interested in the spirits of the sky and earth and how to stop them from causing harm to individuals or groups. The first problem was how to talk with the spirits. Enter the shaman. The term shaman began among the Mongol-type peoples of eastern Siberia, and it may be related to their word meaning ascetic. Cave paintings, carved bones, and other artifacts show that shamanism was widespread at least twenty thousand years ago. Surviving forms are seen among Siberians, Polynesians, Eskimos, and American Indians. The close resemblance in many rituals raises the question of whether practices arose spontaneously in many regions or whether they were spread by prehistoric migration. Sometimes shamans inherit their vocation but more often they are "called" by spirits. This may occur at any time from birth to manhood and is recognized by some dramatic situation. To be struck by lightning is a particularly powerful sign; other clear signs occur when a tree is struck

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184 and gushes forth water or when a bird or animal appears to call the individual by name. Abnormal behavior is commonly accepted as proof of shamanism. Word count: 228

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APPENDIX B SCORING SHEETS Parsed Versions of Stimulus Passages for Recall Measure Story I News version 1. LEAD: Ten Florida panthers roaming the wilds of South Florida are about to be chosen for a new life in captivity that may have important consequences for the survival of the endangered species. 2. TIE-IN: A captive-breeding program has been approved by federal and state officials to boost the shrinking panther population from an estimated 30 to 50 in the wild. 3. ELABORATION OF LEAD: "There are certain purists who say, 'Let them die a natural death out in the wild'," said John Christian of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "We need to consider their views, but on the other hand we are charged with halting the extinction of the species and moving toward its recovery." 4. SUPPORT FOR THE LEAD: "It's no question the population is stressed. When you get down to a total population of 30 to 50 animals, you get to the point of facing the brink of extinction," said Dennis Jordan, Fish 185

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186 and Wildlife's Florida panther coordinator. "We consider we have one viable sustaining population now in South Florida and none anywhere else." 5. BACKGROUND: But some wildlife managers say the Florida panther, a type of cougar, is in nowhere near the danger of the California condor or the black-footed ferret when their entire population was rounded up for captive breeding. 6. DEVELOPMENT OF THE MAIN IDEA: The goal of the program is 500 breeding adults in captivity and three wild colonies in 20 years using high-tech methods such as radio-telemetry collars and possibly even in vitro techniques. 7. DETAILS: The nocturnal cats, with adults weighing 60 to 120 pounds, are smaller and darker than most cougars and have a unique tail crook and a cowlick in the middle of their backs. The panther, which hunts deer and smaller game, is a solitary hunter that needs lots of room--at least 40 square miles for a female and more than 200 square miles for each male, with little overlap. The panther once ranged from Louisiana to South Carolina, but widespread hunting and urban sprawl have pushed it into the Everglades and the undeveloped center of South Florida. Without help, experts estimate, the panther will vanish in 25 to 40 years.

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187 Narrative version 1. SETTING: Dennis Jordan frowned at the last entry in his journal: "The population is stressed. When you get down to a total population numbering 30 to 50 animals, you get into a situation of facing the brink of extinction. "We have one viable sustaining population now in South Florida and none anywhere else." The Florida panther was Dennis' passion. As the Florida panther coordinator for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, his knowledge of these nocturnal cats included a motley array of facts: Panthers are a smaller and darker subspecies of the cougar, distinguished by their tail crooks and the cowlicks in the middle of their backs. Solitary hunters of deer and small game, they need vast territoriesat least 40 square miles for a female and more than 200 for each male, with little overlap. An adult can weigh from 60 to 120 pounds 2. EVENT: Panthers once ranged from Louisiana to South Carolina, but relentless hunting and urban sprawl pushed it deep into the Everglades and undeveloped parts of South Florida. 3. INTERNAL REACTION: Some wildlife managers, he knew, believed the panther to be in nowhere near the danger of other rare animals like the California condor and the black footed ferret, whose entire populations were once rounded up

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188 for captive breeding. Some purists thought panthers should be left to die out naturally. His colleague John Christian often said, "We need to consider their views, but on the other hand we are charged with preventing the extinction of the species and moving toward its recovery." The plight of the panther angered Dennis; a) GOAL: to combat the problem b) ATTEMPT: he had become involved in a captive breeding program approved by federal and state officials to boost the declining panther population 5. OUTCOME: Ten wild Florida panthers would be chosen for a new life in captivity that might have extraordinary consequences for the survival of the species. The new program would use high-tech influences such as radio-telemetry collars and possibly even in vitro fertilization to produce 500 breeding adults in captivity and three wild colonies in 20 years. 6. CONSEQUENCE/ENDING: Without intervention, Dennis knew the Florida panther would vanish in 20 to 40 years.

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Expository version CONSERVATION OF THE FLORIDA PANTHER 1. TOPIC SENTENCE (Problem): This article discusses the endangered status of the Florida panther. 2. SETTING TRAJECTORY: The panther once ranged from Louisiana to South Carolina, but widespread hunting and urban sprawl have pushed it into the Everglades and the undeveloped interior of South Florida. 189 3. EXPLANATION: Without intervention, experts estimate, the panther will disappear in 25 to 40 years. 4. SPECIFIC: Some wildlife managers say the Florida panther, a type of cougar, is in nowhere near the danger of the California condor or the black-footed ferret when their entire population was rounded up for captive breeding. But the population is stressed, according to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service's panther coordinator, Dennis Jordan. When a total species population numbers 30 to 50 animals, the species is near extinction. There is one viable sustaining population in South Florida and none elsewhere. 5. SPECIFIC (Solution): Recently, a captive-breeding program was approved by federal and state officials to boost the declining panther population from an estimated 30 to 50 in the wild. Ten Florida panthers roaming the wilds of South Florida are about to be chosen for a new life in captivity that may

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have extraordinary consequences for the survival of the endangered species. 190 6. EXPLANATION: "There are certain purists who say, 'Let them die a natural death out in the wild'," says John Christian of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "We need to consider their views, but on the other hand we are charged with preventing the extinction of the species and moving toward its recovery." 7. SPECIFIC: The goal of the program is 500 breeding adults in captivity and three wild colonies in 20 years using high-tech influences such as radio-telemetry collars and possibly even in vitro fertilization. 8. ATTRIBUTION: Florida panthers are nocturnal animals, and with adults weighing 60 to 120 pounds, they are smaller and darker than most cougars. They have a distinctive tail crook and a cowlick in the middle of their backs. The panther, which favors deer and smaller game, is a solitary hunter that needs lots of room--at least 40 square miles for a female and more than 200 square miles for each male, with little overlap.

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Story II News version 191 1. LEAD: Soldiers fought through a barricade of prodemocracy demonstrators on the outskirts of the South American city of Paramaribo Monday, injuring about 40 people and allowing a convoy of tanks and trucks to drive into the capital, witnesses said. 2. TIE-IN: An American reporter who saw the confrontation, the first major violence reported in a month of protests, said soldiers and Armed Police paramilitary units with AK-47 assault rifles and truncheons cleared a path through the crowd for the convoy. 3. ELABORATION ON THE MAIN POINT: Much of the convoy of 72 tanks and 300 trucks, stalled last week by barricades of cars, furniture and demonstrators, drove to a military camp about one mile closer to the center of Paramaribo, the capital of Surinam. Thousands of people rushed the camp's gate and began throwing rocks at windows and soldiers inside, the witness said. 4. SUPPORT FOR THE LEAD: The troop action was the first sign of antagonism from the hard-line Surinam government 5. BACKGROUND: in almost a month of anti-Communist demonstrations staged by students at Paramaribo University. 6. DEVELOPMENT OF THE MAIN IDEA: At least 40 people were injured in the clash in the south-western suburb of Seguro, the witnesses said.

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192 Parts of the convoy had begun to try to move around the roadblock by a different street but were confronted by thousands of students and workers, witnesses said. 7. DETAILS: The embattled government posted troops in newspaper offices and placed hospitals on alert Monday in its struggle to regain control of Paramaribo. President Augusto Muniz called the student movement "unpatriotic" and said protesters were "controlled by a small band of agitators who will be suppressed." The Surinam government faces a growing power struggle between leaders calling for a crackdown on the unrest and those calling for moderation. The situation is likely to worsen in coming weeks before a resolution is reached.

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193 Narrative version 1. SETTING: Not very long ago, in a distant land, students and citizens in Paramaribo began to stage demonstrations against their tyrannical government. The government tried to control the protests by despatching a military convoy of 72 tanks and 300 trucks to drive into the capital city, but the convoy was stalled by barricades of cars, furniture and demonstrators. 2. EVENT I: Eventually--a week later--soldiers succeeded in fighting through a barricade of pro-democracy demonstrators on the outskirts of Paramaribo. A reporter from America who saw the confrontation, the first major violence reported in a month of protests, said soldiers and Armed Police paramilitary units with AK-47 assault rifles and truncheons cleared a path through the crowd for the convoy. 3. EVENT II: Parts of the convoy had begun to try to move around the roadblock by a different street but were confronted by thousands of students and workers Nevertheless, much of the convoy drove to a military camp about one mile closer to the center of Paramaribo, the capital of Surinam. 4. INTERNAL REACTION: Thousands of people, angered by th e military attack, 5. ATTEMPT: rushed the camp's gate and began throwing rocks at windows and soldiers inside.

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194 6. OUTCOME: At least 40 people were injured in the clash in the south-western suburb of Seguro. 7. CONSEQUENCE/ENDING: The embattled government struggled to regain control of Paramaribo by posting troops in newspaper offices and placing hospitals on alert. The president of the country, Augusto Muniz, called the student movement "unpatriotic." He said the protesters were "controlled by a small band of agitators who will be suppressed." The Surinam government is torn by a growing power struggle between leaders calling for a crackdown on unrest and those calling for moderation. The situation is likely to worsen in coming weeks before any resolution is reached.

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Expository version 1. SETTING LOCATION: This essay describes a political clash in the small South American nation of Surinam. 2. EXPLANATION: Soldiers in the capital city of Paramaribo fought through a barricade of pro-democracy demonstrators and allowed a convoy of tanks and trucks to drive into the capital. 3. SPECIFIC: Four aspects of this struggle were: 1) The clash was the first major violence reported in a month of protests. 195 2) The troop action was the first sign of antagonism from the hard-line Surinam government in a month of anti communist demonstrations staged by students at Paramaribo University. 3) The military convoy's attempt last week to enter the city was stalled by barricades of cars, furniture, and demonstrators. 4) The convoy consisted of 72 tanks and 300 trucks. An American reporter who saw the confrontation said soldiers and Armed Police paramilitary units with AK-47 assault rifles and truncheons cleared a path through the crowd for the convoy. 4. SETTING TRAJECTORY: Much o f the convoy drove to a military camp about one mile closer to the center of Paramaribo.

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196 5. SPECIFIC (Covariance): (1) Antecedent:The next significant event occurred when thousands of people rushed the camp's gate and began throwing rocks at windows and soldiers inside, the witness said. (2) Conseguent:The result of this attack was that at least 40 people were injured in the clash in the southwestern suburb of Seguro. 6. SPECIFIC: Finally, the embattled government struggled to regain control of Paramaribo by (1) posting troops in newspaper offices and (2) placing hospitals on alert on Monday. 7. SPECIFIC: In reaction to these events, Surinam President Augusto Muniz called the student movement "unpatriotic'' and said protesters were "controlled by a small band of agitators who will be suppressed." 8. EVIDENCE: In conclusion, the Surinam government faces a growing power struggle between leaders calling for a crackdown on the unrest and those calling for moderation. 9. SPECIFIC: The situation is likely to worsen in coming weeks before any resolution is reached.

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Parsed Versions of Stimulus Passages Used to Measure Strength of Text Schema Parsing of "The Triumph of the Owl" 1. SETTING: Once upon a starless midnight, an owl was ensconced, half-slumbering, on the branch of an oak tree 2. EVENT I: when two ground moles attempted to slip by unperceived. "You!" cried the owl. 197 3. INTERNAL REACTION: "Who?" quavered the ground moles in utter terror and astonishment, because they could not believe it was possible for anyone to see them in that inky darkness. "You two!" exclaimed the owl. 4. EVENT II: The ground moles hurried away and reported to the other creatures of the pastures and woodlands that the owl was the most omniscient and authoritative of all animals because he had nocturnal vision and because of his uncanny ability to answer any question. 5. INTERNAL REACTION (complex): GOAL: "I'll see about that," asserted the secretary bird, ATTEMPT: and he called on the owl one night when it was again very dark. "How many claws am I holding up?" inquired the secretary bird, and the owl correctly responded, "Two." "Can you give me another expression meaning 'that is to say' or 'namely'?" questioned the secretary bird; returned the owl, "To wit." "Why does a

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lover call on his love?" queried the secretary bird; "To woo," replied the owl. 198 6. OUTCOME: The secretary bird hastily returned to the other creatures and reported that the owl was certainly the most powerful and sagacious animal in the world because of his extraordinary ability to see in the dark and because he could answer any question, 7. CONSEQUENCE: so the creatures despatched a messenger to the owl requesting that he become their sovereign.

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199 Parsing of "Vladimir Horowitz Dead at 85 11 1. LEAD: Vladimir Horowitz, whose brilliant technique and emotional profundity led many to consider him the 20th century's greatest pianist, died Sunday at his townhouse on New York City's upper East Side. 2. TIE-IN: Horowitz, 85, suffered a heart attack at about 12:30 p.m., said his manager, Peter Gelb. 3. ELABORATION OF LEAD: "I believe he died of some sort of massive, major heart attack," Gelb said, noting that details would have to come from medical officials. 4. SUPPORT FOR THE LEAD: "Horowitz was undoubtedly the greatest pianist of the 20th century," said Glenn Plaskin, author of "Horowitz," a critical biography published in 1983. "He had more physical energy, more electricity, than any musician that came onto that platform. He was the Greta Garbo of the concert stage." 5. BACKGROUND: in 1987, Gelb said. His last concerts were in western Europe He had a studio at his home and shortly before his death he had been at work on a recording of Haydn, Mozart, and Liszt. 6. DEVELOPMENT OF THE MAIN IDEA: Funeral arrangements were uncertain. But Horowitz's wife, Wanda Toscanini, daughter of the late conductor Arturo Toscanini, is believed to want her husband buried in the Toscanini family burial plot in Milan, Italy, Gelb said.

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200 7. DETAILS: Throughout his life, Horowitz was renowned for his erratic behavior, Plaskin said. Plaskin described him as "temperamental, demanding and a perfectionist. He was extremely charming. He would have loved the attention he's getting now."

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201 Parsing of "The Shamans of Ancient Cultures 1. TOPIC SENTENCE: For thousands of years man thought that everything around him--trees, streams, rocks--contained a spirit which could be either beneficent (good) or bad. 2. SPECIFIC: Even sophisticated ancient Greeks believed in wood nymphs. 3. EXPLANATION: When man first dwelt in caves or primitive shelters, he became interested in the spirits of the sky and earth and how to stop them from causing harm to individuals or groups. 4. PROBLEM: The first problem was how to talk with the spirits. 5. SOLUTION: Enter the shaman. 6. SPECIFIC (Setting location): The term shaman began among the Mongol-type peoples of eastern Siberia, and it may be related to their word meaning ascetic. 7. SPECIFIC (Evidence): Cave paintings, carved bones, and other artifacts show that shamanism was widespread at least twenty thousand years ago. 8. SPECIFIC: Surviving forms are seen among Siberians, Polynesians, Eskimos, and American Indians. 9. SPECIFIC: The close resemblance in many rituals raises the question of whether practices arose spontaneously in many regions or whether they were spread by prehistoric migration.

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10. ATTRIBUTION: 202 Sometimes shamans inherit their vocation but more often they are "called" by spirits. 11. SPECIFIC: This may occur at any time from birth to manhood and is recognized by some dramatic situation. 12. SPECIFIC: To be struck by lightning is a particularly powerful sign; other clear signs occur when a tree is struck and gushes forth water or when a bird or animal appears to call the individual by name. 13. SPECIFIC: Abnormal behavior is commonly accepted as proof of shamanism.

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APPENDIX C SCORING PROCEDURES Example of Scoring Procedure for Recall ProtocolsSample Subject Free Recall of Narrative Version of story I (The subject's recalled protocols are transcribed exactly from the original). Dennis was bothered by the decline of the Florida panther. When there's only 40-60 (panthers) of a species left, extinction is not far away. He decided to make it his project. Some people thought that the panther should just "naturally" die off. Though they used to be found throughout Florida and up to Louisiana, overhunting and urbanization has forced the panther to retreat to the remote Everglades. A panther is a solitaire hunter (deer) and needs (some number) acres (sq. miles?) to roam in. Weight between 60140 lbs. A captive population is being kept. The Florida panther is different from the cougar by a crimp in the tail and a dark cowlick. 10? more may be introduced into Florida rural areas. In vitro fertilization along with captive breeding will be used to help save the Florida panther. 203

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204 Scoring System The recalled protocol was compared to the parsed version of the original stimulus passage (see Appendix B) and the number of sentences remembered from each terminal node in the text structure was noted. If less than half of the original sentence was remembered, the sentence was not counted as having been recalled. If about half of the sentence was remembered, it was counted as 0.5. If more than half of the sentence was remembered, it was counted as one sentence. Thus, in the above passage, the first sentence the subject wrote was "Dennis was bothered by the decline of the Florida panther." This is not very similar to any sentence in the original passage, although the protagonists in the story--Dennis Jordan and the Florida panther--are named. Therefore, this subject was given 0.5 for partial recall of a sentence from the first node (the SETTING). The second sentence is, "When there's only 40-60 (panthers) of a species left, extinction is not far away." This is very similar to the sentence in the setting reading, "When you get down to a total population numbering 30 to 50 animals, you get into a situation of facing the brink of extinction." The subject did not remember the numbers exactly, but the figures were close enough to the originals to be considered correct. Thus, the subject was also given credit for remembering a full sentence from the first node (1.0).

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205 "He decided to make it his project." This does not have a parallel in the story and was not counted. "Some people thought that the panther should just 'naturally' die off." This is very similar to the sentence in the third node--the INTERNAL REACTION--reading, "Some purists thought panthers should be left to die out naturally." The subject was given credit for one full sentence remembered from this node (1.0 for Node 3). "Though they used to be found throughout Florida and up to Louisiana, overhunting and urbanization has forced the panther to retreat to the remote Everglades." This sentence is very close to the EVENT: "Panthers once ranged from Louisiana to South Carolina, but relentless hunting and urban sprawl pushed it deep into the Everglades and undeveloped parts of South Florida." The subject was given credit for remembering this sentence (1.0 for Node 2). The subject's next sentence was, "The panther is a solitaire hunter (deer) and needs (some number) acres (sq. miles?) to roam in." This indicates partial recall of the sentence in the SETTING reading, "Solitary hunters of deer and small game, they need vast territories--at least 40 square miles for a female and 200 for a male, with little overlap." The subject was given 0.5 for this sentence (0.5 for Node 1).

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206 "Weight 60-140 lbs." This corresponds to the sentence in the original reading, "An adult can weigh from 60 to 120 pounds." Full credit for this sentence (1.0 for Node 1). "A captive population is being kept." This sentence is unclear and not apparent in the original, so it isn't counted. "The Florida panther is difference from the cougar by a crimp in the tail and dark cowlick." This is part of a sentence contained in the original story that reads, "Panthers are a smaller and darker subspecies of the cougar, distinguished by their tail crooks and the cowlicks in the middle of their backs." So the subject is given 0.5 for this sentence. Again, this sentence is taken from the SETTING (0.5 for Node 1). "Ten more may be introduced into rural areas." No credit. "In vitro fertilization along with captive breeding will be used to help save the Florida panther." The subject was given credit for partially remembering a sentence from the fifth node (the OUTCOME). The subject's recall score is written down as follows: Node 1. Node 2. Node 3. Node 4. Node 5. SETTING: 0.5 + 1.0 + 0.5 + 1.0 + 0.5 = 3.5 EVENT: 1.0 = 1.0 INTERNAL REACTION: 1.0 = 1.0 GOAL: 0 ATTEMPT: 0

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Node 6. Node 7. 207 OUTCOME: 0.5 = 0.5 CONSEQUENCE: 0 The proportion of each node recalled is then computed. This is done by calculating the proportion of sentences recalled by the subject out of the total number of sentences in that node in the original story, as shown below: Node 1. SETTING: 3.5/6 = 0.58 Node 2. EVENT: 1.0/1.0 = 1.00 Node 3. INTERNAL REACTION: 1.0/4 = 0.25 Node 4. GOAL: 0 Node 5. ATTEMPT: 0 Node 6. OUTCOME: 0.5/2 = 0.25 Node 7. CONSEQUENCE: 0 The total number of nodes remembered by the subject is thus 0.58 + 1.00 + 0.25 + 0.25 = 2.08. The subject remembered 2.08 out of 7 nodes, so her total recall score is 2.08/7 = .02971. Converted to a percentage and rounded to the nearest whole number, this is a recall score of 30%.

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Example of Scoring Procedure for Strength of Text Schema Measure 208 Sample Subject Reordering of Scram.bled News Stimulus Passage 1. Vladimir Horowitz, whose brilliant technique and emotional profundity led many to consider him the 20th century's greatest pianist, died Sunday at his townhouse on New York City's upper East Side. 2. Horowtiz, 85, suffered a heart attack at about 12:30 p.m., said his manager, Peter Gelb. 3. "I believe he died of some sort of massive, major heart attack," Gelb said, noting that details would have to come from medical officials. 4. Throughout his life, Horowitz was renowned for his erratic behavior, Plaskin said. Plaskin described him as "temperamental, demanding and a perfectionist. He was extremely charming. He would have loved the attention he's getting now." 5. His last concerts were in western Europe in 1987, Gelb said. He had a studio at his home and shortly before his death he had been at work on a recording of Haydn, Mozart and Liszt. 6. Horowitz was undoubtedly the greatest pianist of the 20th century," said Glenn Plaskin, author of "Horowitz," a critical biography published in 1983. "He had more physical energy, more electricity, than any musician that came onto

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209 that platform. He was the Greta Garbo of the concert stage." 7. Funeral arrangements were uncertain. But Horowitz's wife, Wanda Toscanini, daughter of the late conductor Arturo Toscanini, is believed to want her husband buried in the Toscanini family burial plot in Milan, Italy. This sequencing of the parsed nodes was compared to the ordering of the same nodes in the original version (see Appendix B) It will be seen that the subject's rankings of the nodes compare to the originals as shown below: SUBJECT ORIGINAL D' SCORE D' SCORE SQUARED 1 1 0 0 2 2 0 0 3 3 0 0 7 4 3 9 5 5 0 0 4 6 2 4 6 7 1 1 Total 14 D' scores were computed by calculating the difference between the ranks of the nodes in the subject's version of the story and the original version. Ad' score for each

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210 node was thus computed. These scores were squared to increase the variance and the sum of the squared d' scores was calculated. The sum of the squared d' scores was used to calculate the rank-order correlation coefficient for the subject using the formula for the Spearman's rho: = 1[ 6 Z o; /N ( N 2. 1) ] I The subject's score in the above example would thus be 1-(6 X 14/7(49-1)] = 1-(84/336] = 1-0.25 = 0.75. Converting to a percentage, the subject's "strength of text schema" score is 75%.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Meenakshi Gigi Durham was born in Mangalore, India, on September 25, 1961, the daughter of Dr. V. R. Venugopal and Mrs. Jayalakshmi Venugopal. She has lived in Penticton, B.C., Canada; Ootacamund, India; and the southern United States. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry from the Women's Christian College, Madras, India, in 1981; a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of West Florida in 1984; and a Master of Journalism degree from Louisiana State University in 1985. She married Frank Dallas Durham in 1988 and resides in Gainesville, Florida. Her current plans include rewriting this dissertation to follow a narrative structure to make it more memorable and comprehensible to the world at large. 223

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I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. ~~T.d:~ Dr. Leonard P. Tipton, Chair Professor of Journalism and Communication I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. 7K.."h>['~ Dr. Mickie Edwardson Distinguished Service Professor of Journalism and Communications I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Dr."~l;&t Professor of Journalism and Communications and that in my I certify that I have read this study and that in my opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality, as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. Dr. Nora L. Associate Instruction Hoover Professor and Curriculum of

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This dissertation was submitted to the Graduate Faculty of the College of Journalism and Communications and to the Graduate School and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy. ~L L. L,.,...,J-~--: May 1990 De~lege of Journalism and Communications Dean, Graduate School

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