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Do Pictorial Mnemonic Text-Learning Aids Give Students Something Worth Writing About?

Do Pictorial Mnemonic Text-Learning Aids Give Students Something Worth Writing About?

Abstract

In 2 experiments, college students read a historical passage on aspects of human intelligence. Students were randomly assigned to 2 different instructional conditions to process the passage: mnemonic, where keywords for intelligence theorists' surnames and line drawings linking the theorists and their contributions were provided, and free study, where participants were given summary paragraphs and were instructed to use their own preferred study methods. In both experiments, mnemonic participants remembered more names and contributions than did free-study participants: (a) on immediate and 1-week delayed matching tasks and (b) in written essays, with no compensating decrement in the essays' structural coherence. The findings illustrate that mnemonic techniques are useful in improving both students' memory for and application of central textual information.
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