These stimuli were used in the following experiment:
GERNSBACHER, M. A., NELSON, J., & ROBERTSON, R. R. W. (1998). Suppressing erroneously drawn inferences during comprehension. Unpublished manuscript.
1. Fred went to sit on the bench.
TEST WORD: PARK
2a. The ballerina stretched at the bar in the studio.
2b. She needed to warm up before she could begin dancing.
TEST WORD: TAVERN
3. The plumber installed the new pipe in the bathroom.
TEST WORD: TOBACCO
4a. Eric really liked the suit he had.
4b. He couldn’t believe he had been dealt a straight.
TEST WORD: OUTFIT
5. Emily admired the pretty stamp.
TEST WORD: MAIL
6. The huge wave crashed over the surf.
TEST WORD: GREETING
7a. The stereo speaker fell off the bookshelf.
7b. It had been teetering there for several days.
TEST WORD: ORATOR
8a. The mole was barely noticeable.
8b. It had burrowed into the ground.
TEST WORD: FRECKLE
1. INF: Susan was upset because she had broken her glasses.
SPC: Susan was upset because she had broken her crystal glasses.
SEC: The entire set of goblets had been a wedding present from her grandmother.
TEST WORD: EYE-WEAR
2. INF: Troy spent a lot of money on the diamond.
SPC: Troy spent a lot of money on the new baseball diamond.
SEC: He wanted his team to have the best playing field in the league.
TEST WORD: JEWELRY
3. INF: Andrew looked all over for the missing key.
SPC: Andrew looked all over for the missing test key.
SEC: He was worried that it might have been stolen and he would have to write a new test.
TEST WORD: LOCK
4. INF: Jeff got a ticket after parking his car.
SPC: Jeff bought a ticket after parking his car.
SEC: As he headed into the movie theater, he handed the ticket to the usher.
TEST WORD: FINE
5. INF: Mark decided it was time to surprise Katie by giving her a ring.
SPC: Mark decided it was time to surprise Katie by giving her a call.
SEC: It had been a long time since he had telephoned his sister Katie, and he thought she’d be surprised to hear from him.
TEST WORD: ENGAGEMENT
6. INF: Mr. Smith gave the paper boy a tip.
SPC: Mr. Smith gave the paper boy a helpful pointer.
SEC: The tip was how to fold the paper tighter so that it could be thrown farther.
TEST WORD: MONEY
7. INF: Elaine said she had to run.
SPC: Elaine said she had to jog.
SEC: Failing to exercise made her very crabby.
TEST WORD: HURRY
8. INF: Joe left his job at the Post Office today.
SPC: Joe left his desk at the Post Office today.
SEC: He returned with coffee and donuts for everyone.
TEST WORD: QUIT
9. INF: Jason called his mother before he left for the soccer game.
SPC: Jason called out to his mother before he left for the soccer game.
SEC: She was way out in the garden, so he had to yell pretty loudly.
TEST WORD: TELEPHONE
10. INF: Kim bent the nail.
SPC: Kim bent her fingernail.
SEC: Then her finger began bleeding where the nail had ripped away from the skin.
TEST WORD: HAMMER
11. INF: Sheila reluctantly entered the pool.
SPC: Sheila reluctantly entered the basketball pool.
SEC: She wasn’t used to betting on sporting events.
TEST WORD: WATER
12. INF: Sarah drove frantically all the way to the Emergency Room.
SPC: Sarah drove frantically all the way to her job at the hospital.
SEC: She was already running 15 minutes late for her shift that evening.
TEST WORD: ACCIDENT
13. INF: Trisha looked closely at the woman’s palm.
SPC: Trisha looked closely at the woman’s palm tree.
SEC: She was trying to identify what was causing the yellow spots on the leaves.
TEST WORD: HAND
14. INF: Lorraine was alarmed when she saw the smoke billowing out of the room.
SPC: Lorraine was alarmed when she saw all the cigarette smoke billowing out of the room.
SEC: It seemed like everyone at the party was puffing on a cigarette.
TEST WORD: FIRE
15. INF: Gina told her friend that he would need another coat.
SPC: Gina told her friend that he would need another coat of paint.
SEC: She thought that it would take several coats of white paint to cover up the deep purple walls.
TEST WORD: JACKET
16. INF: Ryan was upset when he saw the litter.
SPC: Ryan was upset when he saw the litter of puppies.
SEC: He had intended to get the dog spayed.
TEST WORD: GARBAGE
17. INF: The conductor looked at the ticket Mary had.
SPC: The orchestra conductor looked at the concert ticket Mary had.
SEC: It was for Friday night’s performance.
TEST WORD: TRAIN
18. INF: With precision, the nurse quickly passed the sponge to the doctor.
SPC: The nurse quickly passed the paper towel to the doctor.
SEC: He needed it to mop up the soft drink he had just spilled.
TEST WORD: SURGERY
19. INF: The cowboy drew his gun.
SPC: The cowboy sketched his gun.
SEC: He wasn’t much of an artist, but the sketch was enough to get an idea of its appearance.
TEST WORD: SHOOT-OUT
20. INF: Janis wished she would have brought her umbrella.
SPC: Janis wished she would have brought her visor.
SEC: It would have helped shield her from the bright sun on the beach.
TEST WORD: RAIN
21. INF: George became too bored to finish the history book.
SPC: George became too bored to finish writing the history book.
SEC: He had already spent five years writing it.
TEST WORD: READ
22. INF: The blood ran from Peter’s arm.
SPC: The blood ran from Peter’s arm into the plastic vial.
SEC: He donated blood every year.
TEST WORD: LACERATION
23. INF: Claire decided it was time to change her habit.
SPC: Claire decided it was time to change into a clean habit.
SEC: She had spilled wine on it at communion earlier that day.
TEST WORD: BEHAVIOR
24. INF: Bill looked down and realized that he had lost a button.
SPC: Bill looked down at his electric blender and saw that the button for “HI SPEED” was missing.
SEC: It was constantly falling off his blender’s control panel.
TEST WORD: SHIRT
25. INF: At the neighborhood potluck, everyone remarked about Mary Jo’s wonderful dish.
SPC: At the neighborhood potluck, everyone remarked about Mary Jo’s beautiful and rare dish.
SEC: Her porcelain serving tray was a valuable family heirloom.
TEST WORD: RECIPE
26. INF: Kathy was horrified when she found bugs under the sink.
SPC: Kathy was horrified when she found bugs and other recording equipment under the sink.
SEC: She couldn’t believe that someone had been listening to her private conversations.
TEST WORD: INSECTS
27. INF: Sally took a pen and paper with her to meet the famous baseball player.
SPC: Sally took a tape recorder with her on her appointment with the famous baseball player.
SEC: The article she was writing would include comments on nuclear power by well-known people.
TEST WORD: AUTOGRAPH
28. INF: The old film was not very good.
SPC: The old film in the Polaroid camera was not very good.
SEC: Without even finishing the roll, Karen took it out of the camera and threw it away.
TEST WORD: MOVIE
29. INF: Jack painted the boat a bright red.
SPC: In the painting he was working on, Jack painted the boat a bright red.
SEC: Then he painted the ocean a deep blue and the sun a bright orange.
TEST WORD: REFINISH
30. INF: The baker left the dough on the counter.
SPC: The baker left the money on the counter.
SEC: He answered the phone and then returned to finish counting the money from today’s sales.
TEST WORD: BATTER
31. INF: When he saw her at the photo shoot, Arthur thought that Angel looked hot.
SPC: When he saw her in her the photo shoot, Arthur thought that his dog Angel looked overheated.
SEC: He was worried that the photographers had kept his poodle under the bright lights for too long while shooting the Alpo ad.
TEST WORD: SEXY
32. INF: Ben just missed the train.
SPC: Ben just missed getting hit by the train.
SEC: Someone pushed him out of the way and saved his life.
TEST WORD: LATE
33. INF: Sam wrote down the notes in his notebook as fast as he could.
SPC: Sam wrote down musical notes in his notebook as fast as he could.
SEC: He needed to write down the tune before he forgot it.
TEST WORD: LECTURE
34. INF: Christine stopped by the store to buy alcohol before the party.
SPC: Christine stopped by the store to buy rubbing alcohol before the party.
SEC: She wanted to prevent the cut on her finger from becoming infected.
TEST WORD: BEER
35. INF: Laura drove for miles to see the famous star.
SPC: Laura drove for miles to see the star that the astronomer had recently discovered.
SEC: A professor at the college had agreed to let her use the observatory.
TEST WORD: CELEBRITY
36. INF: John needed to pick up his prescription.
SPC: John needed to pick up his prescription for new eyeglasses.
SEC: His vision was getting worse and worse.
TEST WORD: MEDICINE
37. INF: Bob was overjoyed to be marrying his grade-school friend.
SPC: Bob was overjoyed to be officiating at the marriage of his grade-school friend.
SEC: Years ago, when he and his friend Conrad were Boy Scouts together, neither imagined that Bob would later become a minister.
TEST WORD: SWEETHEART
38. INF: Denise put the file back in the drawer.
SPC: Denise put the nail file back in the drawer.
SEC: This customer did not want the complimentary manicure with her haircut.
TEST WORD: FOLDER
39. INF: The children ran quickly out of the school building when they heard the bell ring.
SPC: The children ran quickly out of the school building when they heard the emergency bell ring.
SEC: They were afraid that the building was on fire.
TEST WORD: RECESS
40. INF: Brad asked if the pitcher was full.
SPC: Brad asked the pitcher if he’d had enough to eat.
SEC: Brad didn’t want any player on the baseball team to go away hungry after his banquet.
TEST WORD: CONTAINER
10 – 1 sent, answer yes
Larry spent a long time on the letter.
TEST WORD: WRITE
The shooting of the hunter was very accurate.
TEST WORD: RIFLE
The man shocked the governor.
TEST WORD: SURPRISE
Jane attended the mass.
TEST WORD: CHURCH
Matt got caught in the shower this morning.
TEST WORD: STORM
Melissa baked the tart.
TEST WORD: COOK
Renee searched for an hour before she found the ruler.
TEST WORD: MEASURE
Diane searched the library for a book about camping.
TEST WORD: RESEARCH
Chad slipped and dropped the case.
TEST WORD: BOX
Wanda invited Jenny to stop by and see the new plant.
TEST WORD: FLOWER
10 – 1 sent, answer no
Bart spent all afternoon typing the page.
TEST WORD: ASSISTANT
Aaron was impressed with the club’s credentials.
TEST WORD: WEAPON
Jennifer was already halfway across the frozen lake when she called for help.
TEST WORD: WADE
Jacob was unable to understand the football play.
TEST WORD: THEATER
Brenda was confident the street was on the right.
TEST WORD: WRONG
Kelly held the key to Ronald’s success.
TEST WORD: LATCH
Jill’s roommates gave her a bill for the long-distance phone calls that she had made.
TEST WORD: DOLLAR
Shaun picked up the racket.
TEST WORD: NOISE
Dwayne was very excited about the date.
TEST WORD: FRUIT
Hank waited for the change.
TEST WORD: SEASON
20 – 2 sent, answer yes, all invite true inference
Mandy walked over to where her pen was.
She wrote down the message and put it where her roommate would see it.
TEST WORD: NOTE
Paul returned to the house with onions, cauliflower, and broccoli.
There had been a special on produce that day.
TEST WORD: GROCERIES
Mel had never been this nervous about a match.
He couldn’t believe he was playing in Wimbledon tomorrow.
TEST WORD: TENNIS
Everyone knew Steve was an expert on gin.
He was taught the game by one of the best players in the world.
TEST WORD: CARDS
The lead actress almost missed her cue.
She wasn’t paying attention when the director said “Action!”
TEST WORD: PERFORMER
Luke tried to tune in his favorite television station.
He couldn’t wait until the cable was installed in his new apartment.
TEST WORD: RECEPTION
By Wednesday afternoon, Mike really needed the rest.
He had been working since Monday without much sleep.
TEST WORD: NAP
The port was generally considered to be one of the best in the world.
Most of the nation’s produce was shipped from there.
TEST WORD: BOATS
Jeanine had never had much experience with the mob before.
But, she realized that she could become rich laundering money for them.
TEST WORD: CRIMINAL
Shane couldn’t believe he walked right past the mint.
It had fallen on the floor near the couch.
TEST WORD: CANDY
Stan met Marjorie when she was organizing a lobby in Washington DC.
She wanted Congress to pass a law limiting logging in the Northwest.
TEST WORD: ENVIRONMENT
Pat had difficulty getting everything into the trunk.
He had too many suitcases piled into it.
TEST WORD: CAR
Martha was very tired when she finally reached the top.
She had been hiking straight up for almost three hours.
TEST WORD: CLIMB
The sound of drilling made Chad nervous.
He hated getting cavities filled, even though he knew it was good for him.
TEST WORD: DENTIST
Gary was pleasantly surprised when he saw the tab.
The prices were very reasonable for such good food.
TEST WORD: RESTAURANT
Mara noticed that her watch stopped at 3 o’clock.
She worried that she would be late for her 5 o’clock meeting.
TEST WORD: BROKEN
Jeremy was afraid that he would lose his position at the bank.
He accidentally transferred ten thousand dollars into the wrong account.
TEST WORD: MISTAKE
Nicole stared at the birthday cards, trying to decide which one to pick.
Her mother’s birthday was tomorrow.
TEST WORD: HALLMARK
Shannon decided to pick up her pace.
Her next class started in five minutes.
TEST WORD: WALKING
Quentin double-checked the score in disbelief.
He couldn’t believe that his team was behind by four touchdowns.
TEST WORD: LOSE