Figure 128

The construction-integration model. Adapted from Kintsch (1992).

Evaluation

There is reasonable evidence for the distinction between micro-structure and macro-structure, and it seems likely that proposition-like representations play a role in text comprehension and memory. The notion that propositions of central importance (e.g., those relating to the main theme) are especially well recalled because they spend a disproportionate amount of time in the working buffer is interesting and plausible.

Most of the major problems with the model proposed by Kintsch and van Dijk (1978) concern what has been omitted from it. For example, the details of how propositions are formed are not spelled out, nor is it indicated exactly how bridging inferences are formed or how schematic knowledge interacts with textual information.

Rayner and Pollatsek (1989, p. 299) pointed out that "coherence and the understanding of discourse entails [sic] more than just tying propositions together with links, and hence...other structures are going to be needed besides networks of propositions." For example, Kintsch and van Dijk (1978) were wrong to claim that the coherence of a text depends very largely on the same argument being repeated several times. For example, a series of essentially unrelated statements about the same individual would not be coherent, but would be deemed to be so within the model.

Kintsch's construction-integration model

Kintsch (1988, 1992, 1994) put forward a construction-integration model that developed and extended his previous model. This model provides more information about the ways in which inferences are formed and stored knowledge interacts with textual information to form the macro-structure.

The basic structure of the construction-integration model is shown in Figure 12.8. According to the model, the following stages occur during the comprehension process:

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