Instructional Humour and Cognitive Affective Learning with Multimedia (IHCALM)


CATLM, Instructional Humor, IHCALM.

How to Cite

DORAMBARI, D. (2022). Instructional Humour and Cognitive Affective Learning with Multimedia (IHCALM). PRIZREN SOCIAL SCIENCE JOURNAL, 6(1), 18–29.


While background music and interesting yet irrelevant to the topic adjuncts were found to harm learning (and were classified as seductive detail) in the Cognitive-Affective Theory of Learning with Media model (CATLM), emotionally appealing shapes and color were found to foster learning (and were classified as multimedia with emotional design).  However, although humour is used in education during class and has both psychological and physiological benefits, there is no published research about instructional humour (IH) in CATLM to date.  The purpose of the current research was to clarify whether IH in CATLM fosters learning, or if it is yet another type of seductive detail.  Total of 96 young undergraduate student participants were randomly assigned to watch a stimuli depicting 3D animations of brain cells either with IH (named as IHCALM) or without it (named as NH).  All student data regarding mirth duration were measured with cameras, while how funny they found the stimuli, as well as their cognitive load, emotions, motivation, knowledge, and metacognition were all measured with Open Sesame.  To test if the IHCALM harms learning, similarity between conditions was analyzed with both Bayesian Factor analysis and null hypothesis testing, which jointly reveal 3 outcomes.  Outcome results show that IHCALM does not harms learning, due to being similar with the non-humorous condition. Implications of these findings for education are considered.


Brunken, R., Steinbacher, S., Plass, J. L., & Leutner, D. (2002). Assessment of cognitive load in multimedia learning using dual task methodology. Experimental Psychology, 49(2), 109-119.

Carver, C. S., & White, T. L. (1994). Behavioural inhibition, behavioural activation, and affective responses to impending reward and punishment: the BIS/BAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67(2), 319-333.

Cocchini, G., Logie, R. H., Della Sala, S., MacPherson, S. E., & Baddeley, A. D. (2002). Concurrent performance of two memory tasks: Evidence for domain-specific working memory systems. Memory & Cognition, 30(7), 1086-1095.

Dienes, Z., & Seth, A. (2010). Gambling on the unconscious: A comparison of wagering and confidence ratings as measures of awareness in an artificial grammar task. Consciousness and Cognition, 19(2), 674-681.

Falk, D. R., & Hill, C. E. (1992). Counselor interventions preceding client laughter in brief therapy. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 39(1), 39-45.

Fleming, S. M., & Lau, H. C. (2014). How to measure metacognition. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8.

Franklin, R. G., Jr., & Adams, R. B., Jr. (2011). The reward of a good joke: neural correlates of viewing dynamic displays of stand-up comedy. Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, 11(4), 508-515.

Greengross, G., Martin, R. A., & Miller, G. (2012). Personality traits, intelligence, humour styles, and humour production ability of professional stand-up comedians compared to college students. Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, 6(1), 74 - 82.

Hackathorn, J., Garczynski, A. M., Blankmeyer, K., Tennial, R. D., & Solomon, E. D. (2012). All kidding aside: Humour increases learning at knowledge and comprehension levels. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 11(4), 116-123. ISSN: ISSN-1527-9316

Harmon-Jones, E., & Harmon-Jones, C. (2007). Cognitive dissonance theory after 50 years of development. Zeitschrift für Sozialpsychologie, 38(1), 7-16.

Harp, S. F., & Mayer, R. E. (1998). How seductive details do their damage: A theory of cognitive interest in science learning. Journal of Educational Psychology, 90(3), 414.

Heidig, S., Müller, J., & Reichelt, M. (2015). Emotional design in multimedia learning: Differentiation on relevant design features and their effects on emotions and learning. Computers in Human Behaviour, 44, 81-95.

Kruley, P., Sciama, S. C., & Glenberg, A. M. (1994). On-line processing of textual illustrations in the visuospatial sketchpad: Evidence from dual-task studies. Memory & Cognition, 22(3), 261-272.

Lovorn, M. G. (2008). Humour in the home and in the classroom: The benefits of laughing while we learn. Journal of Education and Human Development, 2(1). ISSN: 1934-7200

Ludden, G. D., Kudrowitz, B. M., Schifferstein, H. N., & Hekkert, P. (2012). Surprise and humour in product design. Humour, 25(3), 285-309. Humour in the home and in the classroom: The benefits of laughing while we learn.

Lusk, D. L., Evans, A. D., Jeffrey, T. R., Palmer, K. R., Wikstrom, C. S., & Doolittle, P. E. (2009). Multimedia learning and individual differences: Mediating the effects of working memory capacity with segmentation. British Journal of Educational Technology, 40(4), 636-651.

Maniscalco, B., & Lau, H. (2012). A signal detection theoretic approach for estimating metacognitive sensitivity from confidence ratings. Consciousness and Cognition, 21(1), 422-430.

Mathôt, S., Schreij, D., & Theeuwes, J. (2012). OpenSesame: An open-source, graphical experiment builder for the social sciences. Behaviour Research Methods, 44(2), 314-324.

Mayer, R. E. (2008). Applying the science of learning: evidence-based principles for the design of multimedia instruction. American Psychologist, 63(8), 760-769.

Mayer, R. E., & Estrella, G. (2014). Benefits of emotional design in multimedia instruction. Learning and Instruction, 33, 12-18.

McGraw, A. P., & Warren, C. (2010). Benign violations: Making immoral behavior funny. Psychological science, 21(8), 1141-1149.

Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. (2007). Interactive multimodal learning environments. Educational Psychology Review, 19(3), 309-326.

Morrison, M. K., & Quest, H. (2012). The top ten reasons why humour is Fundamental to education. Creating an Appropriate 21 st Century Education, 48-50.

Park, B., Flowerday, T., & Brünken, R. (2015). Cognitive and affective effects of seductive details in multimedia learning. Computers in Human Behaviour, 44, 267-278.

Pekrun, R., & Stephens, E. J. (2012). Academic emotions. Academic Learning & Achievement, 3-31.

Quintana, D. S., & Williams, D. R. (2018). Bayesian alternatives for common null-hypothesis significance tests in psychiatry: a non-technical guide using JASP. Bio Medical Center Psychiatry, 18(1), 178 - 186.

Ruch, W. (1988). Sensation seeking and the enjoyment of structure and content of humour: Stability of findings across four samples. Personality and Individual Differences, 9(5), 861-871.

Ruch, W. (1993). Exhilaration and humour. Handbook of Emotions, 1, 605-616.

Ruch, W., & Hehl, F. J. (1993). Humour appreciation and needs: Evidence from questionnaire, self-, and peer-rating data. Personality and Individual Differences, 15(4), 433-445.

Ruch, W., Bänninger-Huber, E., & Peham, D. (2009). Unresolved issues in research on humour and laughter: The need for FACS-studies (pp. 42-46). Innsbruck University Press.

Schuler, A., Scheiter, K., & van Genuchten, E. (2011). The role of working memory in multimedia instruction: Is working memory working during learning from text and pictures? Educational Psychology Review, 23, 389-411.

Suzuki, H., & Heath, L. (2014). Impacts of humour and relevance on the remembering of lecture details. Humour, 27(1), 87-101.

Um, E., Plass, J. L., Hayward, E. O., & Homer, B. D. (2011). Emotional design in multimedia. Journal of Educational Psychology, 104(2), 485–498.

Vrticka, P., Black, J. M., & Reiss, A. L. (2013). The neural basis of humour processing. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 14(12), 860-868.

Wagenmakers, E. J., Marsman, M., Jamil, T., Ly, A., Verhagen, J., Love, J., Selker, R., Gronau, Q.F., Šmíra, M., Epskamp, S. and Matzke, D. (2018). Bayesian inference for psychology. Part II: Example applications with JASP. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 25(1), 58-76.

Wanzer, M. B., Frymier, A. B., & Irwin, J. (2010). An explanation of the relationship between instructor humour and student learning: Instructional humour processing theory. Communication Education, 59(1), 1-18.

Watson, D., Clark, L. A., & Tellegen, A. (1988). Development and validation of brief measures of positive and negative affect: the PANAS scales. Journal of personality and social psychology, 54(6), 1063.

Wilkins, J., & Eisenbraun, A. J. (2009). Humour theories and the physiological benefits of laughter. Holistic Nursing Practice, 23(6), 349-354.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2022 Diedon DORAMBARI


Download data is not yet available.