Developmental Spans in Event Comprehension and Representation
Bridging Fictional and Actual Events
Edited by Paul van den Broek, Patricia J. Bauer, Tammy Bourg
Routledge – 1997 – 448 pages
This book is about building metaphorical bridges--all sorts of bridges. At the most basic level, it concerns the bridges that individuals build to understand the events that they experience--the bridges that connect the events in the mind's eye. At another level, it is about bridges that interconnect findings and theoretical frameworks concerning event comprehension and representation in different age groups, ranging from infancy to adulthood. Finally, it is about building bridges between researchers who share interests, yet may not ordinarily even be aware of each other's work. The success of the book will be measured in terms of the extent to which the contributors have been able to create a picture of the course of development across a wide span in chronological age, and across different types of events, from the fictional to the actual.
The individuals whose work is represented in this book conduct their work in a shared environment--they all have an intellectual and scholarly interest in event comprehension and representation. These interests are manifest in the overlapping themes of their work. These include a focus on how people come to temporally integrate individual "snapshots" to form a coherent event that unfolds over time, to understand cause and effect, and to appreciate the role of the goal of events. Another overlapping theme involves the possibility of individual differences. These themes are apparent in work on the early development of representations of specific episodes and autobiographical memories, and comprehension of complex events such as stories involving multiple characters and emotions.
The editors of this volume had two missions:
* to create a development span by bringing together researchers working from infancy to adulthood, and
* to create a bridge between individuals working from within the text comprehension perspective, within the naturalistic perspective, and with laboratory analogues to the naturalistic perspective.
Their measure of success will be the extent to which they have been able to create a picture of the course of development across a wide span in chronological age, and across different types of events--from fictional to actual.
"The chapters go together thematically better than often occurs with edited works, the chapters are generally well written, and the first and final chapters bookend the material more effectively than is common in this genre."
"Both individually, and as a whole, the chapters provide a comprehensive overview of the assumptions and goals underlying event representation research, the work that has been conducted to date, and continuing efforts within this area. Each of the chapter authors provides a thorough review of existing literature, and most place much-needed emphasis on discrepancies and apparent contradictions in the empirical findings, carefully examining competing theories and the research in support of each."
—Child Development Abstracts & Bibliography
Contents: Preface. K. Nelson, Event Representations Then, Now, and Next. Part I: Establishing Event Representations. M.E. Young, Implicit Processes in the Development of Causal Knowledge: A Connectionist Model of the Use of Humean Cues. M.E. Arterberry, Development of Sensitivity to Spatial and Temporal Information. L. Baker-Ward, P.A. Ornstein, G.F.A. Principe, Revealing the Representation: Evidence From Children's Reports of Events. Part II: Event Understanding In Early Childhood. L.L. Travis, Goal-Based Organization of Event Memory in Toddlers. P.J. Bauer, S.S. Wewerka, Saying is Revealing: Verbal Expression of Event Memory in the Transition From Infancy to Early Childhood. R. Fivush, C.A. Haden, Narrating and Representing Experience: Preschoolers' Developing Autobiographical Accounts. N.L. Stein, M.D. Liwag, Children's Understanding, Evaluation, and Memory for Emotional Events. T. Trabasso, N.L. Stein, Narrating, Representing, and Remembering Event Sequences. E.P. Lorch, R.P. Sanchez, Children's Memory for Televised Events. Part III: Event Understanding in Children and Adults. T. Bourg, S. Stephenson, Comprehending Characters' Emotions: The Role of Event Categories and Causal Connectivity. P. van den Broek, Discovering the Cement of the Universe: The Development of Event Comprehension From Childhood to Adulthood. C.R. Fletcher, A. Briggs, B. Linzie, Understanding the Causal Structure of Narrative Events. D.L. Long, B.J. Oppy, M.R. Seely, A "Global-Coherence" View of Event Comprehension: Inferential Processing as Question Answering. T. Bourg, P.J. Bauer, P. van den Broek, Building the Bridges: The Development of Event Comprehension and Representation.