The Robustness and Temporal Course of the Story Schema's Influence on Recall

Steven Yussen, Shih Tseng Huang, Samuel Mathews, Robert Evans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Three experiments are reported in which subjects were asked to remember simple stories they had read. The goal was to examine the power of the story schema, postulated in a contemporary story grammar, to influence subjects' level and organization of memory, particularly when they are presented with scrambled versions of stories. The results of Experiment 1 are consistent with previous findings, and we demonstrated the schema's influence on the level and organization of free recall. In Experiment 2 we demonstrated the strong influence of the schema on recall of details (measured by a cloze procedure), as well as recall for the story's gist (measured by a summary construction task). Finally, in Experiment 3 we demonstrated that the schema's influence on the organization of memory holds over time and serves to buttress the more abstract and general elements of the narrative.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-179
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1988

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