Diagrams increase the recall of nondepicted text when understanding is also increased

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Multimedia presentations typically produce better memory and understanding than do single-medium presentations. Little research, however, has considered the effect of multimedia on memory for nonmultimedia information within a large multimedia presentation (e.g., nondepicted text in a large text with diagrams). To this end, the present two experiments compared memory for target text information that was either depicted in diagrams or not. Participants (n = 5 180) studied either a text-only version of a text about lightning or a textwith-diagrams version in which half the target information was depicted in diagrams. Memory was tested with both free recall and cued recall questions. Overall, diagrams did not affect memory for the entire text; diagrams increased memory only for the information they depicted. Diagrams exerted a generalized effect on free recall only when diagrams increased the overall understanding of the text (i.e., when the participants studied the materials twice before the test).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-116
Number of pages5
JournalPsychonomic Bulletin and Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2010


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