Effects of script structure on children's story recall

Judith Hudson, Katherine Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


Investigated the use of scripts by 29 preschoolers (aged 4-5 yrs) and 30 1st graders in story recall by manipulating the amount of goal information and the temporal structure of stories about familiar events. Ss at both ages recalled more story units from the story about a familiar event (birthday party), sequenced story units more accurately in the story about a logically organized event (baking cookies), and tended to eliminate logically inconsistent information in order to preserve canonical event sequences. There were also age differences in amount of recall and selectivity in recall. Preschoolers recalled fewer story units, were less accurate and consistent in sequencing the stories, and were more affected by the story manipulations than were 1st graders. Results suggest that younger children's event knowledge tends to be schema bound but that with age, children become more flexible in their use of scripts in story recall. (27 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-635
Number of pages11
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1983
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


  • amount of goal information &
  • temporal structure, story recall, 4-5 yr old preschoolers vs 1st graders


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