Prose organization and recall

John F. Carter, Carol Carrier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In two experiments, subjects read prose materials with various organizations of the superordinate and subordinate conceptual structure of the passage. Variables included organizational salience, massed versus distributed repetition of the passage, nature of the cueing at recall, and number of exposures. In Experiment I, distributed repetition resulted in superior recall, extending the generality of that effect to prose materials; and an advance organizer treatment resulted in lower recall for scrambled materials, contrary to Ausubel's (1960) cognitive theory. High ability subjects recalled more categories than low ability subjects, but the same amount of within-category information. In Experiment II, materials which increased the salience of the organizational structure of the passage were better recalled than scrambled materials after three exposures, or on a test which cued the major categories in the passage. Cueing was detrimental to performance for subjects reading the scrambled passage. Results are discussed in terms of implications for educational practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)329-345
Number of pages17
JournalContemporary Educational Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1976
Externally publishedYes

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