The Effects of Causal Connections on Memory of Discourse

Year
2001
Volume 2
Issue 2
Pages
195-209
Authors
Soyoung Suh Kim
Abstract
Suh & Trabasso (1993) has shown that readers integrate sentences through causal inferences at the points predicted by the Causal Network Model(Trabasso, van den Broek, & Suh, 1989). The purpose of the present study is to find out whether the causal connections confirmed by Suh & Trabasso remain in a stable representation of a discourse and affect its recall.  For this, subjects read and recalled two versions of stories which were similar in their surface content but very different in their causal network structures. It was found that the subjects' recall was better for the sentences that had more causal connections according to the Causal Network Model. In conclusion, causal integrations that occur during on-line reading remain in a stable representation of a discourse and affect the recall of the discourse later.