Understanding requires prior knowledge. Most theories and empirical work on understanding have focused on the use of general prior knowledge. In the experiments presented here, we examined the role of specific prior episodes in understanding. Subjects read ambiguous stories that had some superficial cue to make them think back to an earlier story. Experiment 1 shows that a superficial cue to an earlier story affects how the new story is interpreted. Experiment 2, in which a reading-time measure was used, provides evidence that this effect of the earlier story occurs during the initial understanding of the new story. We discuss the implications of these results for theories of understanding and the use of remindings in analogy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)