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Education Research International
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2148139, 15 pages
Research Article

The Better You Feel the Better You Learn: Do Warm Colours and Rounded Shapes Enhance Learning Outcome in Multimedia Learning?

1Educational Psychology, University of Würzburg, Röntgenring 10, 97070 Würzburg, Germany
2Media Communication, University of Würzburg, Oswald-Külpe-Weg 82, 97070 Würzburg, Germany
3TUM School of Education, Technical University of Munich, Arcisstraße 21, 80335 München, Germany

Correspondence should be addressed to Hannes Münchow; ed.grubzreuw-inu@wohcneum.sennah

Received 8 May 2017; Accepted 2 July 2017; Published 6 August 2017

Academic Editor: Phillip J. Belfiore

Copyright © 2017 Hannes Münchow et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of the present study was to examine whether fostering positive activating affect during multimedia learning enhances learning outcome. University students were randomly assigned to either a multimedia learning environment designed to induce positive activating affect through the use of “warm” colours and rounded shapes () or an affectively neutral environment that used achromatic colours and sharp edges (). Participants learned about the topic of functional neuroanatomy for 20 minutes and had to answer several questions for comprehension and transfer afterwards. Affective states as well as achievement goal orientations were investigated before and after the learning phase using questionnaires. The results show that participants in the affectively positive environment were superior in comprehension as well as transfer when initial affect was strong. Preexperimental positive affect was therefore a predictor of comprehension and a moderator for transfer. Goal orientations did not influence these effects. The findings support the idea that positive affect, induced through the design of the particular multimedia learning environment, can facilitate performance if initial affective states are taken into account.