Sometime in your educational career you probably had to read a rather lengthy novel for a literature class. Providing you opted for the book rather than the video or Cliff Notes version, you probably were surprised at how much different your recollections of the story were compared with those of your classmates. Many of these differences are due to how individuals construct their situation model of the text. Situation models of the text include other features besides text-based information such as characters’ emotional states, goals, and personality characteristics as well as spatial relationships among the people, objects, and events described (Morrow, Stine-Morrow, Leirer, Andrassy, & Kahn, 1997; Zwaan & Radvansky, 1998). In addition, the reader’s characteristics influence the situation model, such as personal biases, the social context in which you are recalling a text, and personal motivations for remembering certain bits of information while forgetting others.
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