How Pre-Existing Knowledge Structures Influence Memory and Comprehension

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  • Topic: Touring car racing, FIA, Logic
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  • Published : November 29, 2010
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a)In order to assess how pre-existing knowledge structures influence memory and comprehension, five different groups of volunteers were tested differently. All volunteers were asked to recall and rate their understanding of the passage after it was read to them. Group 1 only heard the passage once. Group 2 was given a picture relating to the passage before hearing the passage. Volunteers in Group 3 were given a picture that only partially describes the passage before hearing the passage. Unlike Group 2, the full picture describing the passage was given to Group 4 only after they have heard the passage. And lastly for Group 5, the passage was just read out twice. It was only in Group 2 and 3 that pre-existing knowledge was provided to the volunteers since a picture was shown before the passage was read out. According to the results, there was a large difference in comprehending and recalling the passage between the Group 1 and Group 2. As seen, Group 2 is able to comprehend and recall the passage better. In fact, Group 2 showed the highest comprehension ratings and recall among all groups. Hence, the picture which acts as a pre-existing knowledge is able to influence memory and comprehension by making it easier to recall and comprehend new information. When a partial picture was used as in the case of Group 3, comprehension and recall level was slightly better than Group 1, 4 and 5 but not as high as Group 2. A possible explanation could be that the picture did not provide enough prior information about the passage. Hence it can be said that the more detailed the pre-existing knowledge structure is, the better influence it has on memory and comprehension. b)In studying new materials, it is vital for the new information to be well encoded in our memory in order not to lose it easily. This can be done by increasing our ability to recall and comprehend it. From the experiment, the use of the picture created higher comprehension for the volunteers in Group 2 than...
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