METAPHOR: INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN THE USE OF COMPREHENSION STRATEGIES

MAVIS MAUD ALDRIDGE, Fordham University

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the differences in the use of strategies in the comprehension by two groups of subjects estimated to be on seventh-grade reading level. The subjects included 10 college freshmen and 10 subjects at junior high school level. The strategies were studied from the protocols given by the subjects as they verbally expressed their mental processes in comprehending each metaphoric sentence in the contextual environment of each of five passages. Three areas related to metaphoric competence were examined: analogy, cross-category similarity, and paraphrase.^ The theoretical foundation for the study was based on the work of several researchers, but particularly that of Ortony (1980), regarding the characteristics of a metaphor in the construction of the metaphoric sentences and the passages. The strategies that were anticipated were partially selected from the studies of Kavale and Schreiner (1979), Weinstein et al. (1979), and Karplus (1981), as well as from literature on problem solving, a process which a number of theorists believe to be inherent in reading; for example, Thorndike (1971).^ The strategies from the protocols of each subject were assigned to categories, computed as percentages, and analyzed for similarities and differences between the two groups. Supplementary analyses were also carried out to examine more intensely, the specific nature of the strategies used in the protocols, by each subject in each group, to obtain meaning.^ The findings indicated that: (a) individuals in both groups were similar in the frequent application of their strategies; (b) individuals in both groups were similar in selecting certain strategies over others for frequent applications, but differed in meaning outcomes; (c) individuals in both groups differed in their ability to discover the analogical elements; (d) individuals in both groups showed differences in their ability to locate cross-category similarity; and (e) individuals in both groups differed qualitatively in their paraphrased interpretations of the metaphoric sentences. ^

Subject Area

Education, Reading

Recommended Citation

MAVIS MAUD ALDRIDGE, "METAPHOR: INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN THE USE OF COMPREHENSION STRATEGIES" (January 1, 1983). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI8308468.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI8308468

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