Decision making with texts: Information analysis and schema acquisition

Ely Kozminsky, Walter Kintsch, Lyle E. Bourne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


To study the characteristics of decision-making performance in a semantically rich situation, a laboratory analog of the stock market was created. 36 Ss (aged 18-35 yrs) read 20 "quarterly reports" containing information about 6 market information categories, of which only 2 were relevant to correct decisions. In each trial, Ss recorded their hypotheses about the catagories in the decision rule. Feedback was given following each decision, and on some trials Ss were asked to free recall the texts they had just read. Decision performance distinguished between learners (Ss who discovered the conjunctive decision rule) and nonlearners. The characteristics of hypothesis-selection behavior were similar to those observed in simpler concept-learning problems. Learners displayed a more global approach to the problem, were more sensitive to the given feedback, and utilized the available information more effectively than nonlearners. The category-recall patterns reflected the observed hypothesis-selection and decision behavior and the Ss' overall category-identification strategies. These data are congruent with a model of text comprehension, suggesting an equivalence between some of the comprehension and the hypothesis-selection operators. (13 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363-380
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 1981
Externally publishedYes


  • decision making performance, 18-35 yr olds
  • hypothesis formation &
  • schema understanding, information analysis &

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology (all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience


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