Date of Award
Master of Science
This study investigates the influence of diagrams and spatial layout on interactive effects of text cohesion, domain knowledge, and reading skill on the comprehension of multimodal science text. College undergraduates read either a low or high-cohesion text about cell mitosis that was or was not augmented with diagrams, and then answered text-based and bridging-inference comprehension questions. Results showed overall effects of diagrams and cohesion, but these effects largely depended on an integrated configuration as well as on ability level. Low-knowledge and less-skilled readers benefited from cohesion when the text did not contain diagrams, and only benefited from diagrams when presented with a low-cohesion text in an integrated configuration. In contrast, high-knowledge and skilled readers benefited from high-cohesion text accompanied by diagrams, but only skilled readers benefited independently of configuration. Results offer support for a linear contiguity effect and a text cohesion effect as either new multimedia design principles or as extensions of existing principles.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Renner, Adam M., "Are Pictures Always Worth a Thousand Words? Interactions Between Reader, Text, and Diagrams in Multimodal Comprehension" (2010). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 86.