Applied Cognitive Psychology

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Volume 33 Issue 1 (January 2019), Pages 1-148

Editorial: Harmful or helpful to learning? The impact of seductive details on learning and instruction (pages 3-8)

Summary Most previous research found negative effects on learning outcomes when interesting but irrelevant information (i.e., seductive details) is added to an instruction. To what degree such effects are bound to specific conditions is in the focus of this special issue. Specifically, 11 empirical studies are reported within this special issue. They all address the topic of seductive details in learning and instruction by focusing either on cognitive moderators (e.g., working memory capacity and current beliefs) or on noncognitive moderators (e.g., arousal and affect) of the seductive details effect. Taken together, results from the empirical studies hint towards new moderators and suggest that the negative effects of seductive details on learning outcomes may be smaller than expected based on previous research.

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