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Decorative pictures and emotional design in multimedia learning

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Learning and Instruction Volume 44, Number 1, ISSN 0959-4752 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Recent studies have shown that the positive emotional design of learning environments might foster learning performance. In contrast, the seductive detail effect postulates that additional, learning irrelevant details inhibit learning. This research focusses on the implementation of decorative pictures as a prime for emotions and context-relatedness. This study examines four groups of decorative pictures which might be conducive for learning. Eighty-two students were randomly assigned to one cell of a 2 (emotionally positive vs. emotionally negative pictures) × 2 (school context vs. leisure context pictures) between-subjects, factorial design. The dimensions of pleasure, arousal, and dominance are examined as possible mediators. Results show that either positively valenced pictures or learning pictures foster retention and transfer performance. Pleasure is identified as mediator of the effect between valence of pictures and learning performance. A further analysis shows differences for arousal and dominance for both factors. These results are interpreted with concepts like motivated attention and other arousal theories.


Schneider, S., Nebel, S. & Rey, G.D. (2016). Decorative pictures and emotional design in multimedia learning. Learning and Instruction, 44(1), 65-73. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved January 26, 2020 from .

This record was imported from Learning and Instruction on January 29, 2019. Learning and Instruction is a publication of Elsevier.

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