Schema-Directed Processes in Language Comprehension

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper will attempt to develop the thesis that the knowledge a person already possesses has a potent influence on what he or she will learn and remember from exposure to discourse. It begins by outlining some assumptions about the characteristics of the structures in which existing knowledge is packaged. Next, based on these assumptions, it presents a speculative theoretical treatment of the processes involved in assimilating the information and ideas in discourse. This is the topic that will be given most attention in this paper. Data consistent with the theory will be summarized. It should be emphasized in advance, however, that the experiments to date show at most that the theoretical notions are interesting and plausible. The research has not advanced to the point where there is a firm basis for choosing between competing accounts. Finally, some observations will be made about the implications of this research for education.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCognitive Psychology and Instruction
EditorsAlan M. Lesgold, James W. Pellegrino, Sipke D. Fokkema, Robert Glaser
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4684-2535-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-4684-2537-6
StatePublished - 1978


  • poor reader
  • language comprehension
  • text element
  • linguistic community
  • prose passage


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