Journal article

Learning from scientific texts: personalizing the text increases transfer performance and task involvement

Published in:
  • European Journal of Psychology of Education. - 2016, vol. 31, no. 4, p. 499-513
English In an experiment with 65 high-school students, we tested the hypothesis that personalizing learning materials would increase students’ learning performance and motivation to study the learning materials. Students studied either a 915-word standard text on the anatomy and functionality of the human eye or a personalized version of the same text in which 60 definite articles (e.g., “the eye”) were replaced with 60 second-person possessive pronouns (e.g., “your eye”). Afterwards, participants answered comprehension and transfer questions. One week later, the participants were asked to restudy the text and to answer the same questions again with the aim to improve their performance. In the personalized text condition, students showed higher transfer performance, spent more time on restudying the text, and reported being more motivated than students in the standard text condition. However, only duration of restudying (not self-reported motivation) mediated the effect of personalization on transfer performance.
Faculté des lettres et des sciences humaines
Département des sciences de l'éducation et de la formation
  • English
Education, teaching
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