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Performance Benefits of Spatially Distributed Versus Stacked Information on Integration Tasks

Authors

  • Jooyoung Jang,

    Corresponding author
    1. Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA
    • Jooyoung Jang, Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, 823 LRDC (Learning Research and Development Center), 3939 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 USA.

      E-mail: joj15@pitt.edu

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  • Christian D. Schunn

    1. Learning Research and Development Center, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, USA
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Summary

Understanding the best way to present information has been an issue of interest to many researchers. Regardless of the content of the information, purely physical elements such as spatial organization may also influence performance. Across two studies with 111 undergraduates (78 in Study 1 and 33 in Study 2), we compared spatially distributed (i.e. when information sources are presented side-by-side) against stacked displays (i.e. when information sources are sitting on top of one another with only the top source fully visible). A distributed display time advantage was consistently observed. As potential explanations, a memory strategy selection hypothesis was examined along with other procedural alternative explanations. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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