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Constructing spatial representations from narratives and non-narrative descriptions: Evidence from 7-year-olds

Nyhout, A., Oneill, D.K. (2013) Constructing spatial representations from narratives and non-narrative descriptions: Evidence from 7-year-olds. In: 2013 Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative, CMN 2013, Hamburg. (doi:10.4230/OASIcs.CMN.2013.158) (KAR id:81941)

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Although narratives often contain detailed descriptions of space and setting and readers frequently report vividly imagining these story worlds, evidence for the construction of spatial representations during narrative processing is currently mixed. In the present study, we investigated 7 year old children's ability to construct spatial representations of narrative spaces and compared this to the ability to construct representations from non-narrative descriptions. We hypothesized that performance would be better in the narrative condition, where children have the opportunity to construct a multi-dimensional situation model built around the character's motivations and actions. Children listened to either a narrative that included a character traveling between 5 locations in her neighbourhood or a description of the same 5-location neighbourhood. Those in the narrative condition significantly outperformed those in the description condition in constructing the layout of the neighbourhood locations. Moreover, regression analyses revealed that whereas performance on the narrative version was predicted by narrative comprehension ability, performance on the description version was predicted by working memory ability. These results suggest the possibility that building spatial representations from narratives and non-narratives may engage different cognitive processes.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
DOI/Identification number: 10.4230/OASIcs.CMN.2013.158
Additional information: Unmapped bibliographic data: LA - English [Field not mapped to EPrints] J2 - OpenAccess Ser. Informatics [Field not mapped to EPrints] AD - Center for Child Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada [Field not mapped to EPrints] DB - Scopus [Field not mapped to EPrints] M3 - Conference Paper [Field not mapped to EPrints] A4 - [Field not mapped to EPrints] C3 - OpenAccess Series in Informatics [Field not mapped to EPrints]
Uncontrolled keywords: Children, Language comprehension, Narrative, Situation model, Spatial representations, Regression analysis
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Developmental Psychology
Depositing User: Angela Nyhout
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2020 13:03 UTC
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2020 10:57 UTC
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