Learning procedures: The role of working memory in multimedia learning experiences

Tad T. Brunyé*, Holly A. Taylor, David N. Rapp, Alexander B. Spiro

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


The ubiquitous label 'some assembly required' signals the appearance of instructions for assembly procedures. These instructions come in various formats, some of which may be more effective than others. Previous research has demonstrated advantages for multimedia as compared to single-format presentations. The current study sought to outline the cognitive processes contributing to this advantage. Specifically, two experiments examined the working memory and source monitoring processes involved with remembering procedural instructions presented in three different formats. Participants learned procedural instructions while undertaking one of a variety of selective interference tasks targeting working memory subcomponents. Results, while supporting a multimedia advantage for learning, demonstrated selective working memory subsystem involvement with different instruction formats. Further, despite the multimedia advantage, participants often misremembered multimedia presentations as picture-based ones. These results provide further insight into the cognitive processes that underlie comprehension and memory for multimedia experience

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)917-940
Number of pages24
JournalApplied Cognitive Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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