Propositional and situational representations of text

Perrig, Walter J.; Kintsch, Walter (1985). Propositional and situational representations of text. Journal of Memory and Language, 24(5), pp. 503-518. Elsevier

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Two informationally equivalent texts were constructed which described a fictitious town, emphasizing its spatial layout. In one version (Survey text), spatial information was in geographic terms, while in the other version (Route text), the equivalent information was provided in the form of directions for driving through the town. Subjects recalled these texts and verified old as well as inference statements. In Experiment I, subjects were able to recall the texts quite well, while showing little ability to use the information they had acquired to make inferences about spatial relations in the town which had not been directly stated in the text. With simpler texts, subjects in Experiment II were able to make infereces, especially when the form of the question corresponded to the version of the text they had read. It was concluded that free recall depended on the construction of a propositional textbase during comprehension, while inferences required a situation model, either in the form of a mental map or a procedural representation of the town. It could be shown that the form of the situation model depended on both the representation invited by the text and subject biases.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Psychological and Behavioral Health

UniBE Contributor:

Perrig, Walter


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Anna Maria Ruprecht Künzli

Date Deposited:

04 Jul 2014 09:48

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:34


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