How effective is emotional design? A meta-analysis on facial anthropomorphisms and pleasant colors during multimedia learning
Publication date: Available online 26 September 2018Source: Educational Research ReviewAuthor(s): Cyril Brom, Tereza Stárková, Sidney K. D'MelloAbstractWe conducted a meta-analysis of 33 independent samples (N = 2924) to address whether adding anthropomorphic faces to multimedia graphics and/or adding pleasant colors are effective emotional design approaches. We found significant positive meta-analytic effects for retention (k = 18, d+ = 0.387), comprehension (k = 14, d+ = 0.317), and transfer (k = 27, d+ = 0.327) under a random-effects model. Effects for affective-motivational variables were mixed, with a robust effect for intrinsic motivation (k = 23, d+ = 0.255), a weaker effect for liking/enjoyment (k = 20, d+ = 0.109), and a marginal effect for positive affect (k = 15, d+ = 0.113). The manipulations did not significantly (ps > .227) influence perceptions of learning (k = 11, d+ = 0.097) or effort (k = 20, d+ = 0.051), but reduced perceptions of difficulty (k = 14, d+ = -0.208). Four of the outcome variables (retention, transfer, intrinsic motivation, and perceived effort) were sufficiently heterogeneous. There was no major issue with publication bias, influential cases, or outliers. With one exception, there was no evidence of moderation by experimental contrast, dynamicity of materials, age, language/culture, prior mood, time-on-task, and publication type after adjusting for...
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