ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION When psychologists began to study how people comprehend and remember texts, their first task was to design the tools required to analyse the texts that were used as the stimulus material in their experiments. The results were such discourse analysis systems as the propositional analysis of Kintsch (1974), the rhetorical structure analysis of Meyer (1975), or the story grammar of Mandler and Johnson (1977). Soon, however, the emphasis shifted to the process of discourse comprehension and memory (e.g. Kintsch & van Dijk, 1978). There are today a number of theories of text comprehension processes, such as the READER model of Just and

Carpenter (1987) and the structure building approach of Gernsbacher (1990). My goal here is to introduce one of these theories-the constructionintegration theory of Kintsch (1988; 1992a; 1992b)-by showing via some simple illustrations what this theory can do and how it does it.