The Differential Investment of Mental Effort in Learning from Different Sources

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is argued that learning from different sources greatly depends on the differential way in which these sources are perceived, for these perceptions determine to an important extent the mental effort expended in the learning process. Two ideas are discussed in some detail: (a) amount of mental effort investment (AIME), defined as the number of nonautomatic elaborations applied to a unit of material, and measured by self reports; it is seen as capturing the essence of such constructs as depth of processing and mindful processing, and (b) the role played by perceptions, beliefs, and preconceptions which pertain to the nature of a particular class of materials and the effort it demands. Evidence is provided from studies that examined the ways in which TV is perceived, in comparison to print, and how these perceptions affect the actual ways of handling specific materials from each medium. The case is then generalized to other kinds of sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-50
Number of pages9
JournalEducational Psychologist
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1983
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research reported here was supported by a grant torn the John and Mary R. Markle Foundation. The author wishes to acknowledge the important contribution of Mad Weissberger, Tami Leigh, Miri Ben-Moshe, and Giorah Tzeder in carrying out the studies reported here.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'The Differential Investment of Mental Effort in Learning from Different Sources'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this