Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School Psychology

Major Professor

Christopher H. Skinner

Committee Members

Marion E. Coleman-Lopatic, Ralph S. McCallum, Merilee McCurdy


Seductive information included in educational lessons can arouse students’ emotional and situational interest. However, research on seductive details across instructional modalities shows both helpful and harmful effects on learning. The seductive details effect describes the negative influence of interesting, but irrelevant, information on achieving learning goals. Results from studies of videos with relevant and seductive details in multimedia lessons are inconclusive. Prior knowledge of target information has been shown to moderate the seductive details effect. In this study, the moderating effect of prior exposure to, or familiarity with, seductive, rather than target, information was explored using a multifactorial design. The experiment was conducted with high school psychology students who viewed narrated PowerPoint lessons with embedded videos containing relevant and irrelevant details that were either familiar or unfamiliar. Results from posttests including factual and applied items found no evidence of the seductive details effect impairing participant learning. Additionally, analysis using a generalized linear mixed effects model indicated prior exposure to seductive details had no significant moderating effect.

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