LINDERHOLM, T., GERNSBACHER, M. A., VAN DEN BROEK, P., NENIDE, L., ROBERTSON, R. R. W., & SUNDERMEIR, B. (2004). Suppression of story character goals during reading. Discourse Processes, 37, 67-78.
The objective of this study was to determine how readers process narrative texts when the main character has multiple, and changing, goals. Readers must keep track of such goals to understand the causal relations between text events, an important process for comprehension. The structure building framework theory of reading proposes that readers maintain the most relevant goal in focus using the mechanism of suppression. The results of this study confirm that readers maintain the activation of goal information that is rementioned in a text and suppress previous goal information when a new goal is introduced. Thus, in an attempt to understand the causal relations between events in a text, readers keep track of multiple story character goals by using suppression.