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Summery - Essay Example

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The authors have included a series of studies that demonstrate that to comprehend prose passages, it is imperative to have relevant contextual knowledge. The authors report four studies each of which shows increase in the comprehension ratings as well as recall scores after…
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Article Summary The have included a series of studies that demonstrate that to comprehend prose passages, it is imperative to have relevant contextual knowledge. The authors report four studies each of which shows increase in the comprehension ratings as well as recall scores after appropriate information was given to the subjects of study before hearing the test passages. The purpose of this research was to directly focus on the role of prior knowledge in the comprehension. The underlying purpose of the authors is to show that not only does the prior knowledge show in the performance of the subjects in tasks that involve linguistic information’s comprehension, but also some knowledge may be required in order to carry out processing of the information meaningfully. To demonstrate this, the authors carried out an experiment of acquisition phase, after which two tasks were conducted; one of which was comprehension rating and the other was of recall. The authors collected five independent Ss groups with 10 Ss in each group. The Ss were 50 volunteering high school students both male and female. There were three other Ss groups besides the No Context Ss and the Context Before Ss. Context After Ss were shown the appropriate picture after hearing the passage. Partial Context Ss saw the passage after being shown the picture. No Context Ss twice heard the passages. The Ss belonging to a certain condition were all tested together. There was a 2-minute gap between acquisition and Ss’ rating of the passage. In this gap, recall sheets were given to the Ss. The authors used Dunnett’s tests to draw comparison between the Context Before and other four conditions. They found the comprehension ratings in the Context Before condition to be higher than other four conditions. Experiments II, III, and IV were similar to Experiment I in that the acquisition phase was followed by comprehension rating as well as recall tasks. It was found that the subjects’ comprehension ratings as well as recall scores substantially dropped when they were supplied with the same information after the passages. The authors consider a number of explanations for the results and discuss the role of topics in spurring the cognitive contexts. I liked the use of different materials and experimental method for each of the four experiments. The paper could be more comprehensible for the readers had there been a conclusion section in the end. Read More
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