An examination of cognitive load and recall in ADHD and non-ADHD populations when viewing educational multimedia messages



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Attention deficit disorder is one of the most prevalent forms of disordered cognition, and while attention is one of the most salient aspects of media processing, ADHD attentional processes when engaging with dynamic, media environments are understudied. The study of the ways in which individuals with ADHD process these media has many relevant implications for the study of multimedia learning, cognitive load theories, and media processing in general. In this study it is proposed that individuals with ADHD experience differences in the processing of information in a mediated environment. These differences could lead to cognitive resources being inefficiently allocated to nonessential or incidental aspects of the mediated environment, with detrimental effects on the encoding, storage, and retrieval process. An experiment is proposed in which individuals with and without ADHD are exposed to educational video stimuli and tested for resource allocation and memory. Resource allocation will be measured using Secondary Task Reaction Times, and memory will be measured using a post-hoc cued recall task. Data which are gained concerning processing differences between ADHD and non ADHD populations when engaging in simple or complex mediated environments could help inform the creation of effective online course environments that foster learning in these populations. Implications concerning media multitasking will also be considered.



Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), LC4MP, Multitasking, Online learning, Cognitive load, Cognitive control