Understanding the Role of Context on Memory for Maximally Counterintuitive Concepts


  • Mary Harmon-Vukić Providence College
  • M. Afzal Upal Mercyhurst University




MCI hypothesis, context, situation models, inferencessituation models, inferences


The current study examined how contextual information, defined as information represented at the level of the situation model, influenced memory for minimally and maximally counterintuitive stories. The first two experiments investigated whether the presence of explicit instructions to make sense of “strange information” in the stories influenced memory for maximally counterintuitive stories. Although no such effect was observed, post hoc analyses indicated that maximally counterintuitive stories that support a global inference that integrates the counterintuitive ideas are better recalled compared to stories that do not support such an inference. A third experiment was conducted to directly test the “global-inference” hypothesis. The results from the three experiments highlight the significant role of inferential processing in the integration of counterintuitive ideas, especially for maximally counterintuitive studies.


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How to Cite

Harmon-Vukić, M., & Upal, M. A. (2020). Understanding the Role of Context on Memory for Maximally Counterintuitive Concepts. Journal for the Cognitive Science of Religion, 5(2), 238–254. https://doi.org/10.1558/jcsr.39064