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Preschoolers' comprehension of goal structure in narratives

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Preschool children's understanding and use of goals were studied in two experiments. Children heard stories in the presence of pictures or props. The stories were varied by goal success occurring early or late in the story, with late goal success resulting in more causal connections in the narrative. The results showed that children recalled goals spontaneously and that their recall benefited from goal structure of the stories. Pictures benefited the children when the stories were short. Enactment of the props versus static displays of the props did not enhance recall in the second experiment. Preschool children thus demonstrated ability to infer and use goal and causal information in stories for both picture and object support.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2004

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