You are here:

Temporal, but not Spatial, Contiguity Effects While Studying an Interactive Geographic Map

, , , , Texas Tech University, United States

Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia Volume 17, Number 2, ISSN 1055-8896 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA


In two experiments we investigated the effects of temporal and spatial contiguity on learning from a computer-based geographic map and associated text. In Experiment 1, participants were randomly assigned to conditions that presented text either contiguous to (temporal or spatiotemporal) or noncontiguous to corresponding map features. The results showed that participants studying facts temporally or spatiotemporally contiguous to map features recalled more facts and made more accurate inferences than those studying facts not contiguous to map features. However, spatial contiguity did not affect learning beyond the effects of temporal contiguity alone. The temporal contiguity effect was replicated in Experiment 2 when facts were contiguous to map labels and markers, but not when facts were contiguous to just markers. These results contribute to the literature by showing the relative effects of temporal and spatial contiguity and by demonstrating the conditions that facilitate contiguity effects in computer-based geography instruction.


Crooks, S., White, D., Srinivasan, S. & Wang, Q. (2008). Temporal, but not Spatial, Contiguity Effects While Studying an Interactive Geographic Map. Journal of Educational Multimedia and Hypermedia, 17(2), 145-169. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 22, 2019 from .


View References & Citations Map


  1. Abel, R. R., & Kulhavy, R. W. (1986). Maps, mode of text presentation, and children’s prose learning. American Educational Research Journal, 23(2), 263-274.
  2. Anderson, R. C., Goetz, E. T., Pickert, H. M., & Halff, H. M. (1977). Two faces of the conceptual peg hypothesis. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 3(2), 142-149.
  3. Arici, A. D. (1997). Maps and the recall of associated text. Unpublished master’s thesis, Arizona State University, Tempe.
  4. Carlson, R., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (2003). Learning and understanding science instructional material. Journal of Educational Psychology, 95(3), 629640.
  5. Cerpa, N., Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (1996). Some conditions under which integrated computer-based training software can facilitate learning. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 15(4), 345-367.
  6. Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (1991). Cognitive load theory and the format of instruction. Cognition and Instruction, 8(4), 293-332.
  7. Chandler, P., & Sweller, J. (1996). Cognitive load while learning to use a computer program. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 10(2), 151-170.
  8. Crooks, S. M., Verdi, M. P., & White, D. R. (2005). Effects of contiguity and feature animation in computer-based geography instruction. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 33(3), 261-283.
  9. Kulhavy, R. W., Stock, W. A., & Kealy, W. A. (1993). How geographic maps increase recall of instructional text. Educational Technology Research and Development, 41(4), 47-62.
  10. Kulhavy, R. W., Stock, W. A., Peterson, S. E., Pridemore, D. R., & Klein, J. D. (1992). Using maps to retrieve text: A test of conjoint retention. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 17(1), 56-70.
  11. Marcus, N., Cooper, M., & Sweller, J. (1996). Understanding instructions. Journal of Educational Psychology, 88(1), 49-63.
  12. Mayer, R. E. (1997). Multimedia learning: Are we asking the right questions? Educational Psychologist, 32(1), 1-19.
  13. Mayer, R. E. (2001). Multimedia Learning. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  14. Mayer, R. E., & Anderson, R. B. (1991). Animations need narrations: An experimental test of a dual-coding hypothesis. Journal of Educational Psychology, 83(4), 484-490.
  15. 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), 444-452.
  16. 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), 187-198.
  17. Mayer, R. E., & Moreno, R. (2003). Nine ways to reduce cognitive load in multimedia learning. Educational Psychologist, 38(1), 43-52.
  18. Mayer, R. E., Moreno, R., Boire, M., & Vagge, S. (1999). Maximizing constructivist learning from multimedia communications by minimizing cognitive load. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91(4), 638-643.
  19. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (2005). Retrieved September 20, 2006 from
  20. Moreno, R., & Mayer, R. E. (1999). Cognitive principles of multimedia learning: The role of modality and contiguity. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91(2), 358-368.
  21. Paivio, A. (1971). Imagery and verbal processes. New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.
  22. Paivio, A. (1986). Mental representations: A dual coding approach. New York: Oxford University Press.
  23. Paivio, A. (1991). Dual coding theory: Retrospect and current status. Canadian Journal of Psychology, 45(3), 255-287.
  24. Reinkin, D., & Rickman, S. S. (1990). The effects of computer-mediated texts on the vocabulary learning and comprehension of intermediate-grade readers. Journal of Reading Behavior, 22(4), 395-407.
  25. Rittschof, K. A., & Kulhavy, R. W. (1998). Learning and remembering from thematic maps of familiar regions. Educational Technology Research and Development, 46(1), 19-38.
  26. Robinson, D. H., Corliss, S. B., Bush, A. M., Bera, S. J., & Tomberlin, T. (2003). Optimal presentation of graphic organizers and text: A case for large bites? Educational Technology Research & Development, 51(4), 25-41.
  27. Schwartz, N. H., & Kulhavy, R. W. (1981). Map features and the recall of discourse. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 6(2), 151-158.
  28. Srinivasan, S., Lewis, D., & Crooks, S. M. (2006, Winter). Effects of concreteness and contiguity on learning from computer-based reference maps. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, 5(3).
  29. Sweller, J., Chandler, P, Tierney, P., & Cooper, M. (1990). Cognitive load as a factor in the structuring of technical material. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 119(2), 176-192.
  30. Tarmizi, R. A., & Sweller, P. (1988). Guidance during mathematical problem solving. Journal of Educational Psychology, 80(4), 424-436.
  31. Tindall-Ford, S., Chandler, P., & Sweller, P. (1997). When two sensory modes are better than one. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 3(4), 257-287.
  32. Verdi, M. P., & Kulhavy, R. W. (2002). Learning with maps and text: An overview. Educational Psychology Review, 14(1), 27-46.
  33. Ward, M., & Sweller, J. (1990). Structuring worked examples. Cognition and Instruction, 7(1), 1-39.

These references have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake in the references above, please contact