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considerable pause before they answer. If you ask them what they were doing during that
pause they are likely to say they were trying to visualize the location of the phone. Manuscript 9/28/03 10 Information about where things are is frequently stored as images like a mental map that
can be recalled when we need to find something. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand
words and an image can actually contain a great deal of information. To test this, try to
write a complete description of the example of an image presented in Figure 3.1. As
teachers, we will find it useful from time to time to have students create images to
understand and remember complicated information.
A proposition is a language-based representation that stores information about
the semantic relationship between at least two elements of a chunk (Anderson, 1983 and
1993). While propositions are frequently described using words it is important to
remember that a proposition represents an idea, not a specific collection of words (Gagne,
Yekovich & Yekovich, 1993). This means that propositions store information about the
meaning of experiences based on our interpretations of those experiences. This allows us
to eliminate information that is not meaningful resulting in a more compact memory unit.
These more compact units may be more easily manipulated and combined as we think
about and reason through our experiences. Propositions allow is to store information
about things that may not be easily stored as a temporal string or image, and are often an
interpretation of some experience. However, there is a disadvantage to storing
information as a proposition, because if our interpretation is incorrect, the information
stored is also incorrect.
Learners tend to code information from reading or listening as propositions
(Kintsch, 1977), and propositions have been very important in research on how students
process text or a lecture. As a first step in such study, the researcher frequently
determines how many propositions are contained in the material to be learned. This is
done using the type of short-hand shown in Figure 3.1 to represent each proposition in the Manuscript 9/28/03 11 material to be learned. In the example, shown in 3.1, the proposition is represented by the
“dot” with arrows pointing to the elements and relationship contained in the proposition.
In this example there are two elements, square and checkered. The relationship between
square and checkered is expressed by the verb “is.” The proposition is, “The square is
checkered.” Proposition may be organized into a propositional network that shows how
the ideas in a text are related. Figure 3.2 (Figure 3.2 appears at the end of the chapter) is
an example of a propositional network for the sentence, “The quick red fox jumped over
the lazy brown dog.” As you can see, this simple sentence contains five propositional
chunks of information. Analyzing text or speech in this way can give us an idea of how
much information people can process in a...
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This document was uploaded on 03/29/2014 for the course EPS 324 at N. Arizona.
- Spring '08