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Lost in narrative? The effect of informative narratives on text comprehension and metacomprehension accuracy

, University of Freiburg, Germany ; , Free University of Berlin, Germany ; , University of Freiburg, Germany

Learning and Instruction Volume 60, Number 1, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Informative narratives are enriched expository texts that provide to-be-learned conceptual information within a storyline with the aim to foster comprehension. However, research casts doubt on such a benefit for comprehension. Additionally, it is an open question how informative narratives impact metacomprehension accuracy. The results of two experiments (N1 = 63 and N2 = 70 university students) showed that informative narratives were less or not at all beneficial to text comprehension compared with expository texts. Moreover, informative narratives often led to more overestimation of comprehension in terms of predictions, postdictions, and response confidence than expository texts. This seemed to be particularly true, as Experiment 2 revealed, for readers with a lower need for cognition because they were more transported into the storyline of informative narratives. The findings suggest that informative narratives prime the activation of a narrative-specific reading goal and, thus, distract readers from learning and accurately monitoring the to-be-learned conceptual information.


Golke, S., Hagen, R. & Wittwer, J. (2019). Lost in narrative? The effect of informative narratives on text comprehension and metacomprehension accuracy. Learning and Instruction, 60(1), 1-19. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved July 11, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Learning and Instruction on March 15, 2019. Learning and Instruction is a publication of Elsevier.

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