The mental representation of what one reads is called a "situation model" or a "mental model." The process of reading causes an interaction of the new knowledge with what is already known. Though a number of theories and models have been proposed to describe this interaction, Tapiero proposes a new model that assumes a variety of storage areas to previous knowledge, and that the reader picks and chooses which of these models is most relevant to what is being read. These are called "levels of coherence." It’s a dynamic process as well, as the reader chooses and abandons the storage units of previous knowledge as he or she reads on. Situation Models and Levels of Coherence is of professional and scholarly interest to cognitive scientists who specialize in reading, knowledge representation, mental models, discourse analysis, and metaphor/symbol.
Contents: Preface. W. Kintsch, Foreword. Part I: Text Comprehension: What Kind of Mental Representation Does the Reader Build? The Internal “Objects” of Situation Models. Theoretical and Empirical Evidence for Two Main Levels of Representation: Referential and Causal Coherence. Situation Models as Integrated Representations: What Kind of Model Does the Reader Build? Part II: What Cognitive Mechanisms Are Involved in the Elaboration of a Situation Model? Current Theories of Comprehension: The Main Processes Involved in Mental-Representation Building by the Reader. Current Theories of Text Comprehension: What About Coherence? Part III: Contribution of the Reader's Knowledge in the Establishment of Global Coherence. Establishing Global Coherence: The Account for the Reader's Naive Theories of Causality. The Reader's Mental Representation: Search for Coherence or Passive Resonance? Part IV: Contribution of the Reader's Knowledge and Multidimensional Aspect of Situation Models: Importance of Causality and Emotion. Causal Inferences in the Reading Comprehension Process. Emotion and Text Comprehension. Are Some Dimensions More Crucial Than Others? Toward a Definition of Comprehension.