The effect of using cues to influence cognitive processing of diagrams that accompany technical text material

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1985

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Abstract

Purpose. The primary focus of this study is an investigation of whether text accompanied by diagrams (illustrations) improve recall and if cues within the text influence observation of those diagrams. Hypotheses. The research hypotheses are the following: Hypothesis 1: There will be no significant differences in recall of text material between the experimental groups if cues are used to influence learners to observe diagrams that accompany the text. Hypothesis 2: There will be no significant differences in recall of text material between the experimental groups (1 and 2) and the control group if cues are used to direct the learner to observe diagrams that accompany the text. Procedures. A total of 210 introductory psychology students from the University of Houston were administered the Nelson-Denny Reading Comprehension Test. Posttest reading recall scores on a ten item test were collected for each student as well as grade level, ethnicity and sex of each student. Analysis of covariance was used to test the study's hypothesis. Findings and Conclusions. The results of the ANCOVA indicated a significant effect by group when adjusted for pretest differences. This indicated that there were statistically significant differences on the posttest by group after controlling for the initial pretest differences. Since the posttest scores for both experimental groups were very similar, the findings do not support the conclusion that using a second, additional, diagram with text designed to influence the learner to observe the diagram, will increase recall. Using one diagram, however, did significantly increase recall when compared to the text only control group.

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Reading comprehension

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