ERIC Number: ED266416
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985
Reference Count: 0
The Effect of Pictures and Humor on Memory for Verbal Material in Two Extreme Scholastic Aptitude Populations.
Sagaria, Sabato D.; Derks, Peter L.
In an effort to understand why pictures are used to supplement learning material, a study explored (1) the role of humor in recall, and (2) whether the effects of humor are independent of the individual's ability level. Subjects--students from either the high SAT (approximate average of 1200 points) population (HS), or the low SAT (approximate average of 800 points) population (LS)--were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups that studied (1) cartoons with humorous captions, (2) cartoons with nonhumorous captions, (3) the humorous captions alone, or (4) the nonhumorous captions alone. Results indicated that humor has little or no noticeable effect, or a negative effect, on free recall for both the HS and the LS college populations. The LS participants rated the material as more humorous than did the HS population, but recalled less. Recall was lowest for the HS group that read humorous captions without pictures. For the LS group, recall was best when the nonhumorous captions were presented with pictures. Pictures relevant to the accompanying text, containing highly coherent messages, encourage superior recall for both groups. However, implications are that humor and pictures are additional stimuli competing for attention from the LS population. (Tables of findings are included.) (EL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (69th, Chicago, IL, March 31-April 4, 1985).