The effect of diagrams on online reading processes and memory

Matthew T. Mccrudden, Joseph P. Magliano, Gregory Schraw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


This work examined how adjunct displays influence college readers' moment- by-moment processing of text and the products of reading, using reading time (Experiments 1 & 2), and think-aloud methodologies (Experiment 3). Participants did or did not study a diagram before reading a text. Overall, the reading time data, think-aloud data, and recall data were consistent with the no-increased-effort hypothesis, which states that a diagram can facilitate comprehension, although readers may not engage in more effortful online processing. These data suggest that studying a diagram before reading can improve memory for an expository text without necessarily increasing online effort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-92
Number of pages24
JournalDiscourse Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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