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Improving Reasoning and Recall: The Differential Effects of Elaborative Interrogation and Mnemonic Elaboration

Thomas E. Scruggs, Margo A. Mastropieri, G. Sharon Sullivan and L. Susan Hesser
Learning Disability Quarterly
Vol. 16, No. 3, Adults with Learning Disabilities (Summer, 1993), pp. 233-240
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
DOI: 10.2307/1511329
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1511329
Page Count: 8
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Improving Reasoning and Recall: The Differential Effects of Elaborative Interrogation and Mnemonic Elaboration
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Abstract

This investigation sought to determine whether elaborative interrogation techniques would facilitate recall of information relevant to, but not included in, mnemonic and representational pictures. Fifty-three adolescents with learning disabilities or mild mental retardation were taught information about nine reasons for dinosaur extinction, ranked in order of plausibility. In the direct teaching condition, students were provided with each ordered reason and an explanation for why that reason may have resulted in dinosaur extinction. In the elaborative interrogation condition, students were provided with each ordered reason and prompted and questioned to provide an explanation for each. In the mnemonic elaborative interrogation condition, students were provided with mnemonic pegwords to facilitate recall of the ordered reasons for dinosaur extinction and also coached and prompted to provide explanations. Students' recall of ordered reasons was higher in the mnemonic elaborative interrogation condition, and students in the two elaborative interrogation conditions recalled more explanations than did students in the direct teaching condition. Further, students in both elaborative interrogation conditions more accurately linked reasons with explanations for those reasons. Findings are discussed with respect to previous findings of mnemonic instruction. Implications for teaching students with mild cognitive disabilities are provided.

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