Children's Use of Scripts in Inferential Text Processing

Judith A. Hudson, Elizabeth A. Slackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


This study compared preschool and first-grade children's ability to make three types of inferences: script-based inferences derived from schematically organized event knowledge, invited inferences derived from general world knowledge, and logical inferences based on conditional reasoning. Children listened to brief stories about familiar events, recalled the stories, and answered inference questions about the stories. When recall of relevant text information was controlled, preschool children were better able to make script-based inferences than both invited and logical inferences, whereas first-graders were better able to draw script-based and invited inferences than logical inferences. These results suggest that the development of children's ability to draw inferences is due, in part, to the development of the knowledge base. Preschool children's event knowledge allows them to make script-based inferences in text comprehension before they are able to make either invited or logical inferences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)375-385
Number of pages11
JournalDiscourse Processes
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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