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International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, v5 n1 Article 16 Jan 2011

We compared the instructional efficacy of a narrative text (i.e., a story) and an expository text (i.e., a textbook excerpt). Students enrolled in Abnormal Psychology classes read about the disorder, "dissociative fugue" from a story, a textbook, or both. The story contained literary elements that increased transportation into the story world. We predicted that this would facilitate memory encoding and improve subsequent test performance. Students who read the story achieved higher quiz scores and evidenced greater free recall about the disorder than those who read the textbook. They also reported greater transportation into the discourse. The combined reading conditions were more efficacious than either alone. The advantage of having read the story was evident up to 3 weeks later when students were retested. Our results suggest that, across text genre, the experience of being transported into discourse accounts for greater test performance over time.

Descriptors: Fiction, Teaching Methods, Psychology, Textbooks, Tests, Scores, Recall (Psychology), Mental Disorders, Comparative Analysis, Psychopathology, Undergraduate Students, Questionnaires, Randomized Controlled Trials, Statistical Analysis

Centers for Teaching & Technology at Georgia Southern University. IJ-SoTL, Georgia Southern University, Henderson Library 1301, Statesboro, GA 30460. e-mail: sotlij[at]; Web site:

Autor: Janit, Adrian S.; Hammock, Georgina S.; Richardson, Deborah S.


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