Date of Award

Spring 2003

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Education and Human Development


This research was designed to study the effects of imagery and language concreteness on retention of prose passages. Thirty heterogeneously grouped ninth-grade students from two separate English classes in a suburban high school outside of Rochester, New York; were assigned to two treatment conditions. Both conditions required students to retell information and were then prompted for further information after reading two types of passages: one which was highly imageable, or concrete, the other which was less imageable, or abstract. After the first treatment condition, students received training designed to acquaint students with mental imagery and to help them use mental imagery strategies to aid them in recalling text. Subsequently, the students were again asked to read two different passages and tallies were taken for unprompted and prompted recall.

This research presents two hypotheses: that students would increase their ability to recall information from the passages they read by using mental imagery strategies, and that gains in recall would be greater for the concrete passages than for the abstract passages. The analysis of the data collected supported (p < .05) these hypotheses as well as many of the views detailed in the literature.