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Role of Elaboration in Retention of Information
This line of research provides support for the position that elaborations, when generated by the learner, facilitate learning and retention; however, author provided elaborations, unless very well crafted, actually are detrimental to the retention/retrieval of the main points of the document or the information to be learned.



Charney, D.H., Reder, L.M., & Wells, G.W. (1988). Studies of elaboration in instructional texts. In S. Doheny-Farina (Ed.), Effective documentation: What we have learned from research, Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, pp.47-72. [download PDF]

Charney, D.H., & Reder, L.M. (1987). Initial skill learning: An analysis of how elaborations facilitate the three components. In P.E. Morris (Ed.), Modeling cognition, London: Wiley Publishers, pp.135-165. [download PDF]

Charney, D.H. & Reder, L.M. (1986). Designing tutorials for computer users: Effects of the form and spacing of practice on skill learning. Human Computer Interaction, 2, 297-317. [download PDF]

Reder, L.M., Charney, D.H., & Morgan, K.I. (1986). The role of elaborations in learning a skill from an instructional text. Memory and Cognition, 14(1), 64-78. [download PDF]

Reder, L.M. (1985). Techniques available to author, teacher and reader to improve retention of main ideas of a chapter. In S. Chipman, J. Segal, & R. Glazer (Eds.), Thinking and learning skills: Current research and open questions, Vol. 2. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 37-64.

Allwood, C.M., Wikstrom, T., & Reder, L.M. (1982). The effects of text structure on free recall: More support for summaries. Poetics, 11, 145-153. [download PDF]

Reder, L.M. (1982). Elaborations: When do they help and when do they hurt? Text, 2, 211-224. [download PDF]

Reder, L.M. & Anderson, J.R. (1982). Effects of spacing and embellishments on memory for the main points of a text. Memory and Cognition, 10, 97-102. [lead article] [download PDF]

Reder, L.M. (1980). The role of elaboration in the comprehension and retention of prose: A critical review. Review of Educational Research, 50, 5-53. [lead article] [download PDF]

Reder, L.M. & Anderson, J.R. (1980). A comparison of texts and their summaries: Memorial Consequences. Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 19, 121-134. [lead article] [download PDF]

Anderson, J.R. & Reder, L.M. (1979). An elaborative processing explanation of depth of processing. In L.S. Cermak & F.I.M. Craik (Eds.), Levels of processing in human memory. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 385-403.  [download PDF]

Reder, L.M. (1979). The role of elaborations in memory for prose. Cognitive Psychology, 11, 221-234. [download PDF]