What’s Wrong? Children’s Detection of Subtle Order Violations in Narratives

Barbara Stevens, Steven R. Yussen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We examined the ability of second and fifth graders to detect subtle order violations in simple, single-event stories, patterned after the “story-grammar” of Stein and Glenn (1979). Children read and listened to several stories in which one element (either the internal response or the consequence) was disordered and were prompted with a series of increasingly suggestive hints to spot and explain the order violation. Although the older students did significantly better than the younger ones in spotting the order violations and explaining the problem, the second graders performed these tasks quite well in an absolute sense. The younger children also performed well when asked to spontaneously order a mixed up set of propositions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)277-291
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Genetic Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1988

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