Cognitive Load Aspects of Text Processing

Cognitive Load Aspects of Text Processing

Slava Kalyuga (University of New South Wales, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-447-5.ch009
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Cognitive load theory investigates instructional consequences of processing limitations of the human cognitive system. Because of these limitations, text processing may result in an excessive cognitive load that would influence comprehension and learning from texts, as well as change learner affective states. This chapter reviews basic assumptions of cognitive load theory, their consequences for optimizing the design of information presentations, and implications for processing written and spoken texts.
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The Architecture Of Natural Information Processing Systems

In its basic underpinning assumptions, cognitive load theory tries to rely on fundamental characteristics of information processing systems in general. For example, the established analogy between the information processing aspects of evolution by natural selection and human cognition (e.g., Sweller & Sweller, 2006) has particularly influenced this approach. Accordingly, the theory considers both biological evolution and human cognition as examples of a broader class of natural information processing systems. It is assumed that the operation of such systems is based on the following fundamental principles (Sweller, 2003; for an overview, see Sweller et al., 2011):

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