THE EFFECTS OF AGE, PRIOR KNOWLEDGE, AND TEXT STRUCTURE ON THE RECALL OF PROSE.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractTo investigate the interaction of bottom-up and top-town processing on prose comprehension across age, a three-way analysis of variance repeated-measures design investigating age (fourth grade vs. eighth grade), text structure (expository vs. story), and schema (prior knowledge vs. no prior knowledge) on the dependent variable immediate and delayed recall was conducted. The dependent variable recall was measured by propositional count (interrater reliability r =.94). Significant main effects were found for grade, prior knowledge, and recall. Significant first-order interactions were found for Grade x Recall (p =.0266) and Grade x Prior Knowledge (p =.0001) in the analysis of variance. Eighth graders had superior recall in all conditions, and did not rely on prior knowledge like fourth graders to facilitate recall. Immediate recall was superior to delayed recall in all conditions. Structure was not significant. The following conclusions were made. (1) Prior knowledge seems to have benefited fourth graders in facilitating recall, but not eighth graders, within the limits of ability to read and understand the passage. (2) Adjusting for general reading ability (ITBS) score did not affect interaction of Grade x Prior Knowledge as being significant, but eliminated grade effect. More experientially developed schemas assisted eighth graders to the point where the specific prior knowledge made no difference in recall like it did for fourth graders, regardless of general reading ability. (3) The methodology introduced successfully demonstrated establishment of prior knowledge without the mnemonic confound seen in the prior-passage paradigm typically used in prose research, and gave promise to the investigation of the hierarchical organization of cognitive structuring developmentally. (4) Adjusting for general reading ability, eighth graders' recall was not superior to fourth graders' recall in the prior-knowledge/delayed condition, suggesting that the facilitator of prior knowledge on immediate recall for fourth graders may have also benefited them in having less decay of information across time. Learning and reading process may be highly dependent on well-established, easily accessed schemas.
Degree ProgramEducational Foundations and Administration