Publication details [#14726]

Singer, Murray and Walter Kintsch. 2001. Text Retrieval: A Theoretical Exploration. Discourse Processes 31 (1) : 27–59.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
Lawrence Erlbaum


An analysis of text retrieval is advanced, which couples the comprehension principles of construction-integration (Kintsch, 1988, 1998) with the global-match assumptions of contemporary memory theory. The analysis had three components: First, following the tenets of construction-integration, comprehension yields a multilevel (surface, propositional, and situation model) long-term memory representation of the text. Second, the familiarity of a memory probe is influenced by the entire contents of the text memory. Third, familiarity values are converted to judgments about probes using signal detection analysis. The model was evaluated in a simulation study. Propositional analyses of 4 stories were performed, and 15 probe items were inspected across the stories. The simulation addressed 3 factors that influence text retrieval: delay, orienting task, and the probe-text relation (explicit, paraphrased, inference). The simulation captured a complex interaction among these variables previously revealed in empirical investigations. The extension of the analysis to other text retrieval variables is discussed.