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Comprehension and memorization of narratives by pre school aged children effect from social origin

Comprehension and memorization of narratives by pre school aged children effect from social origin

Psychologica Belgica 24(1): 1-26

Twenty middle-class children (4 and 5 yr) and 20 lower-class children (4 and 5 yr) were shown 2 picture stories consisting of 30 pictures without text. The children were asked to describe each picture and after seeing all the pictures of the story, to recall the story without the pictures. Analysis concentrated upon comparison between the performances of groups contrasted according to social origin. An inferiority in the recall of the 5-yr-old lower-class children was shown. This inferiority cannot be attributed to a worse comprehension of the story, since the results obtained from the groups when describing the pictures did not differ significantly. To explain this by a specific deficit in production is to be dismissed. Results are then compared with predictions drawn from the schema-based theory and to those drawn from the theory of relative importance of semantic information. Results are compatible with the theory of relative importance and not with the schema-based theory. Differences according to social origin refer to characteristics of semantic structures.

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