The present paper presents a series of studies showing that relevant contextual knowledge is a prerequisite for comprehending prose passages. Four studies are reported, each demonstrating increased comprehension ratings and recall scores when Ss were supplied with appropriate information before they heard test passages. Supplying Ss with the same information subsequent to the passages produced much lower comprehension ratings and recall scores. Various explanations of the results are considered, and the role of topics in activating cognitive contexts is discussed. © 1972 Academic Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
Bransford, J. D., & Johnson, M. K. (1972). Contextual prerequisites for understanding: Some investigations of comprehension and recall. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 11(6), 717–726. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0022-5371(72)80006-9