INFERENCING, SCRIPT RECOGNITION AND SHORT STORY COMPREHENSION
LA PETER, SANDRA
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This exploratory study examined readers' recalls for a story's script, and the patterns of key inferences. The story, "Man with a Problem" by Donald Honig, was based on a script for revenge, and used certain stylistic devices in the two segments containing most of the inferences necessary for script recognition. These stylistic devices were interior monologue with flashbacks and a surprise ending signalled by nominative of address and italics.;The story was read and recalled by 150 male high school students who were also given a structured probe, and asked questions relating to their metacomprehension. The retellings and probe responses were analyzed for the recall of the script, the 29 key inferences, and the quantity of accurate details recalled.;Findings. (1) There was a significant difference in the number and pattern of key sets of inferences recalled by those with and without script recognition (Ho 1). (2) There was no significant relationship between recall of acurate details and recall of key sets of inferences, and recall of the script (Ho 2, Ho 3). (3) There were significant differences between those with and without the script with respect to the recall of the 29 key inferences in general (Ho 4), those in the interior monologue segment (Ho 4.1), and those in the surprise ending segment (Ho 4.2). (4) There was a moderately significant relationship between reading level and script recall, recall of the key inferences, and recall of the four sets of inferences (Ho 5, 5.1, and 5.2).;Conclusions. (1) The general conclusion was that script recall is related to the reader's ability to process the key details, derive the key inferences, and cluster them into key sets. (2) Merely recalling accurate details does not lead to script recognition. (3) Effective comprehenders are neither text-bound, nor do they overly elaborate. (4) Literary devices such as interior monologue with flashbacks and surprise ending effect comprehension by interfering with the processing of key details and the formation of key inferences. (5) Script and schema theory are useful for research purposes. (6) Literary analysis of a short story is helpful when examining comprehension. (7) Story grammar may need modification in order to deal with surprise ending stories, and to account for the influence of stylistic devices on comprehension. (8) Adults' theoretical analysis may differ from analysis produced empirically by adolescents. . . . (Author's abstract exceeds stipulated maximum length. Discontinued here with permission of author.) UMI.
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