Date of Award
Open Access Master's Thesis
Master of Science in Applied Cognitive Science and Human Factors (MS)
Administrative Home Department
Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
The inclusion of interesting but irrelevant details in instructional materials may result in the seductive detail effect, in which the details interfere with learning, recall, and application of core material. Although numerous studies have documented this effect, questions remain about exactly when it occurs, as various factors moderate the effect (Rey, 2012b) and confounds make it difficult to interpret previous results (Goetz & Sadoski, 1995). Here, two studies examined the role of seductive detail interest level and the availability of learning objectives on performance, while controlling for possible confounds. Study 1 found no evidence for either an objective or seductive detail effect. Study 2, utilizing a revised set of seductive details, did demonstrate a seductive detail effect; however, contrary to expectations, the effect emerged only when learning objectives were available. These findings and the implications for developing meaningful guidelines for educators are discussed within the context of the larger literature.
Tislar, Kay, "Investigating the Importance of Detail Interest Level and Learning Objectives on the Seductive Detail Effect", Open Access Master's Thesis, Michigan Technological University, 2017.