The coherence principle (also called seductive details1) effect) claims that extraneous material that may be interesting or motivating but is irrelevant for learning objectives generally wastes learning resources and hinders learning of important material. This assumption is grounded in the fact that human cognitive resources are limited. Still, cognitive load theory predicts this effect will only occur if the cognitive load imposed by important learning material is high enough.2)
Seductive details can be3):
Seductive details can appear in virtually any format, but most often as text.
A number of studies on the effect of seductive details have demonstrated:
Surprisingly, a recent study even found an large increase in learning due to seductive details.7) Possible explanations offered for this phenomenon are: