The effect of relevance instructions on reading time and learning

Matthew T. McCrudden, Gregory Schraw, Gretchen Kambe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


The authors examined the effect of prereading relevance instructions on reading time and learning for 2 types of text. Experiment 1 found that relevance instructions increased learning for relevant segments without increasing reading time when reading a scientific text sentence by sentence on a computer. In contrast, the same segments were learned less well and took longer to read when nonrelevant. Experiment 2 replicated the findings when individuals read an informational narrative text. These findings supported the no increased effort hypothesis, which states that relevant information is learned better without additional effort when readers are told what is relevant prior to reading. In contrast, nonrelevant information is learned less well. The authors attribute these effects to the goal-focusing nature of relevance instructions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-102
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Educational Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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