Using temporal cohesion to predict temporal coherence in narrative and expository texts

Nicholas D. Duran, Philip M. McCarthy, Art C. Graesser, Danielle S. McNamara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


We investigated the linguistic features of temporal cohesion that distinguish variations in temporal coherence. In an analysis of 150 texts, experts rated temporal coherence on three continuous scale measures designed to capture unique representations of time. Coh-Metrix, a computational tool that assesses textual cohesion, correctly predicted the human ratings with five features of temporal cohesion. The correlations between predicted and actual scores were all statistically significant In a complementary study, we explored the importance of temporal cohesion in characterizing genre. A discriminant function analysis, using Coh-Metrix temporal indices, successfully distinguished the genres of science, history, and narrative texts. The results suggested that history texts are more similar to narrative texts than to science texts in terms of temporal cohesion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-223
Number of pages12
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2007
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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