Does cognitive load moderate the seductive details effect? A multimedia study

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Several studies have shown that adding seductive details to instructional materials has a detrimental effect on learning. However, other studies have shown non-significant findings. The present study uses cognitive load theory as a theoretical framework to explain these controversial results in seductive details research. Using a 2 × 2 experimental design we asked a group of high-school students (N = 100) to learn about biology with a multimedia environment that manipulated the presence of seductive details (with vs. without) and the modality of the verbal information (high load, on-screen text vs. low load, narration). The findings showed that students' learning performance was significantly higher when seductive details were presented under the low load condition (narration) as compared to all other conditions. The theoretical implications for understanding the effects of non-redundant and interesting, but irrelevant learning material are discussed and future research directions are presented.

Original languageEnglish
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)5-10
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 01.2011
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Cognitive load, Modality, Motivation, Multimedia learning, Redundancy, Seductive details
  • Educational science