Richard E. Mayer

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Richard E. Mayor - (1947- )

Educational Psychologist
Cognitive Learning Theorist
Problem Solving & Educational Multimedia












Richard E. Mayer is a cognitive psychologist from the University of California,Santa Barbara. His educational theories revolve around problem solving and how people learn. He has conducted research on using multimedia as a learning tool, developing the "12 Principals of Multimedia Learning" which serves as a guide for developing multimedia learning material.
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12 Principles of Multimedia Learning

  1. Coherence Principle – People learn better when extraneous words, pictures and sounds are excluded rather than included.
  2. Signaling Principle – People learn better when cues that highlight the organization of the essential material are added.
  3. Redundancy Principle – People learn better from graphics and narration than from graphics, narration and on-screen text.
  4. Spatial Contiguity Principle – People learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented near rather than far from each other on the page or screen.
  5. Temporal Contiguity Principle – People learn better when corresponding words and pictures are presented simultaneously rather than successively.
  6. Segmenting Principle – People learn better from a multimedia lesson is presented in user-paced segments rather than as a continuous unit.
  7. Pre-training Principle – People learn better from a multimedia lesson when they know the names and characteristics of the main concepts.
  8. Modality Principle – People learn better from graphics and narrations than from animation and on-screen text.
  9. Multimedia Principle – People learn better from words and pictures than from words alone.
  10. Personalization Principle – People learn better from multimedia lessons when words are in conversational style rather than formal style.
  11. Voice Principle – People learn better when the narration in multimedia lessons is spoken in a friendly human voice rather than a machine voice.
  12. Image Principle – People do not necessarily learn better from a multimedia lesson when the speaker’s image is added to the screen.



Books by Mayer

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Selected Papers by Mayer


Mayer, R. E., & Anderson, R. B. (1992). The instructive animation: Helping students build connections between words and pictures in multimedia learning. Journal of educational Psychology, 84(4), 444.
Mayer, R. E., & Sims, V. K. (1994). For whom is a picture worth a thousand words? Extensions of a dual-coding theory of multimedia learning. Journal of educational psychology, 86(3), 389.
Mayer, R. E. (1997). Multimedia learning: Are we asking the right questions?. Educational psychologist, 32(1), 1-19.
Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (1998). A split-attention effect in multimedia learning: Evidence for dual processing systems in working memory. Journal of educational psychology, 90(2), 312.
Plass, J. L., Chun, D. M., Mayer, R. E., & Leutner, D. (1998). Supporting visual and verbal learning preferences in a second-language multimedia learning environment. Journal of educational psychology, 90(1), 25.
Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (1999). Cognitive principles of multimedia learning: The role of modality and contiguity. Journal of educational psychology, 91(2), 358.
Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (2000). A coherence effect in multimedia learning: The case for minimizing irrelevant sounds in the design of multimedia instructional messages. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92(1), 117.
Mayer, R. E., Heiser, J., & Lonn, S. (2001). Cognitive constraints on multimedia learning: When presenting more material results in less understanding. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 187.
Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2002). Aids to computer-based multimedia learning. Learning and instruction, 12(1), 107-119.
Mayer, R. E. (2002). Multimedia learning. Psychology of Learning and Motivation, 41, 85-139.
Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2002). Animation as an aid to multimedia learning. Educational psychology review, 14(1), 87-99.
Mayer, R. E. (2003). The promise of multimedia learning: using the same instructional design methods across different media. Learning and instruction, 13(2), 125-139.
Mayer, R. E. (2005). Cognitive theory of multimedia learning. The Cambridge handbook of multimedia learning, 31-48.


External Links

Wikipedia Article on Richard E. Mayer
UCSB Faculty Page/Biography of Richard E. Mayer
12 Principles of Multimedia Learning