British Journal of Psychology

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Volume 110 Issue 1 (February 2019), Pages i-iv, 1-191

Specifying the boundary conditions of the multimedia effect: The influence of content and its distribution between text and pictures (pages 126-150)

It was investigated whether the beneficial effect of picture presentation might be influenced by the content conveyed through text and pictures and the way information is distributed between them. Ninety‐nine students learnt in five between‐subjects learning conditions (i.e., text with spatial contents plus pictures, text with visual contents plus pictures, only text with spatial contents, only text with visual contents, only picture) about a tourist centre and a holiday farm. Results showed that pictures (i.e., maps) were beneficial for learning if spatial knowledge had to be acquired, but did not support learning when non‐spatial, visual knowledge had to be acquired. Furthermore, a high overlap of spatial information in text and picture was helpful, which can be explained by the assumption that learning is a text‐guided process. On the other hand, regarding non‐spatial visual information, a high text‐picture overlap did not influence learning, probably because text alone was sufficient for acquiring visual knowledge. The implications of these findings are discussed.

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