Turning frogs into princes: can children make inferences from fairy tales?

Turning frogs into princes: can children make inferences from fairy tales? Background This study investigates children’s ability to generate inferences from narratives containing counterfactual information. Methods 39 typically developing readers (mean age 10; 05) completed an on-line task in which they were asked to read short passages, followed by sentences which they had to judge as true or false. The sentences pertained to either a causal inference or a static inference that could have been made during the reading of the passage. The passages and corresponding sentences were either true in terms of real world knowledge, or were presented as fairy tales. Results Results indicated that overall children responded faster and more accurately to sentences related to causal inferences than to static inferences. Responses to both types of inferences were slower in the ‘fairy story’ condition. Conclusions Children’s pattern of inference generation appears to be the same irrespective of the factual basis of the passage. However, responses to sentences based on inferences in the preceding passage are slower in fairy stories. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Reading and Writing Springer Journals

Turning frogs into princes: can children make inferences from fairy tales?

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 by Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Subject
Linguistics; Language and Literature; Psycholinguistics; Education, general; Neurology; Literacy
ISSN
0922-4777
eISSN
1573-0905
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11145-008-9147-5
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Background This study investigates children’s ability to generate inferences from narratives containing counterfactual information. Methods 39 typically developing readers (mean age 10; 05) completed an on-line task in which they were asked to read short passages, followed by sentences which they had to judge as true or false. The sentences pertained to either a causal inference or a static inference that could have been made during the reading of the passage. The passages and corresponding sentences were either true in terms of real world knowledge, or were presented as fairy tales. Results Results indicated that overall children responded faster and more accurately to sentences related to causal inferences than to static inferences. Responses to both types of inferences were slower in the ‘fairy story’ condition. Conclusions Children’s pattern of inference generation appears to be the same irrespective of the factual basis of the passage. However, responses to sentences based on inferences in the preceding passage are slower in fairy stories.

Journal

Reading and WritingSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 27, 2008

References

  • Textual coherence and the development of inferential generation skills
    Casteel, MA; Simpson, GB

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