Effects of motivation, subject activity, and readability on the retention of prose materials

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160 college students were asked to read a prose passage and to take an exam on the contents of the passage. Ss received an easy or hard version of the passage, were either allowed or not allowed to underline key phrases, and were either motivated or not motivated by payment of money. Results show that (a) nonmotivated Ss performed better on the easy version than on the hard version of the text; (b) underlining aided only highly motivated Ss; and (c) underlining aided Ss who worked on the hard version of the text. Results are interpreted from motivational and activity viewpoints. (13 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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