Perceived informativeness of verbal information

  • Karl Halvor Teigen


When people are asked to rate verbal material (texts, statements, and statements forming part of a text) according to informativeness, their judgments will to a large extent depend upon how much they already know about the subject, and how novel the communication is to them. This will in some cases make them stress novelty and in other cases familiarity as the most important determinants for expected or perceived informativeness. It is argued that these apparently contradictory trends are reconcilable by a propositional (subject-predicate) model of information, which presupposes an identifiablesubject of the communication (“what it is all about”), as well as something to be predicated about this subject, topic, or theme. This kind of information structure allows the communication to contain both novel and familiar elements at the same time, with informativeness being at a peak when something quite new and unexpected is told about a familiar subject, or when a new subject is made familiar (i.e., satisfactorily explained) to the person.


Familiarity Rating Propositional Structure Current Psychological Research Subject Familiarity Informativeness Rating 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Transaction, Inc 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl Halvor Teigen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cognitive PsychologyUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

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