Linking Seductive Details and the Isolation Effect

Meagan Padro


This study’s purpose was to discover whether the seductive detail effect and the isolation effect function similarly in regard to retention of target material. It was hypothesized that seductive detail statements would be better recalled than control statements. It was also hypothesized that the information before and after the seductive detail would be forgotten. The study was conducted online where participants (n = 53) read passages about prominent psychologists. Each passage contained one fabricated seductive detail. After each passage, there was a quiz to test retention. Multivariate, repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed enhanced recall of the seductive detail, as compared to the control items, F (2, 84) = 5.45; supporting the first hypothesis. ANOVA analyses also showed that the surrounding material in the seductive detail paragraph was better recalled than the same material in the control paragraph, F (1, 84) = 23.9. Paired samples t-tests did not yield significant differences in comparing the before and after seductive detail sentences to the before and after control sentences. Thus, not supporting the second hypothesis; the anticipated interference effects were not produced. Instead, the results support the implementation of seductive details as an aid for retention of surrounding instructional material.

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ISSN: 2325-0917