Causal bridging inference: a cause of story interestingness

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Author: Sung-il Kim
Date: Feb. 1999
From: British Journal of Psychology(Vol. 90, Issue 1)
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Document Type: Article
Length: 6,152 words

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Abstract :

Three experiments were conducted to examine whether the interestingness of a story would be influenced by the degree of causal bridging inferences a reader generates during reading. Implicit and explicit versions of the same story were used as experimental materials because it was assumed that the implicit versions lead the reader to generate causal bridging inferences. In Expt 1, it was found that the implicit versions were rated as more interesting than the explicit versions. When Rapid Serial Visual Presentation (RSVP) rate of less than 400 milliseconds was used to prevent inference generation in Expt 2, there was no difference in interestingness ratings between the implicit and explicit versions. However, when the RSVP rate was increased to more than 400 milliseconds in Expt 3, implicit versions produced greater interest than explicit versions. The results of three experiments suggest that the implicit versions are no more interesting than the explicit versions unless the readers generate causal bridging inferences. It is concluded that the interestingness of a story is affected by inference generation. A hypothetical model of the occurrence of the cognitive interest is also discussed.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A54205704