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Memory for televised information: a problem for applied and theoretical psychology


Several approaches to variations in memory for informational television are reviewed. Although broad sociological approaches have not yet proved very fruitful, recent cognitively-oriented research has indicated important effects on learning and remembering of detailed aspects of programmes, such as visual format, sequencing of material, vision-text relations and varied recapitulation of information. The evidence for the importance of these factors has derived mainly from studies of TV news material, but Educational Television research is also beginning to show promising results as more attention is given to the detailed ways in which information is organized within programmes. Individual differences are also important, however, and need to be more effectively studied. By and large, there is little support for the more pessimistic views about the value of television as a source of information and instruction, and research findings point to many aspects of practice that might be improved to make programmes more effective. Some of the problems of applying research findings and of the relation of psychological theory to applied experimentation are discussed.

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Correspondence to Colin Berry or Barrie Gunter or Brian Clifford.

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Berry, C., Gunter, B. & Clifford, B. Memory for televised information: a problem for applied and theoretical psychology. Current Psychological Reviews 1, 171–191 (1981).

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  • Free Recall
  • Serial Position
  • News Story
  • News Item
  • Television News