Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)




Karl R White


Every published introductory psychology textbook includes boldfaced terms throughout the chapters. These boldfaced terms are theoretically included to help students learn the material. Are they really beneficial for student learning? An experimental/control group designed study was conducted to answer this question. Volunteers were provided with a chapter excerpt. The experimental group received the excerpt with no boldfaced terms included (the bold type had been removed), whereas the control group received the excerpt as it normally appeared in the textbook, boldfaced terms included. Both groups were quizzed using a 10-item multiple-choice quiz.

Statistical analyses showed that those who studied the excerpt with boldfaced terms included scored significantly higher, F(1, 180) = 5.68; p = .02; partial ç2= .03, with an effect size of .32. This study and the resulting conclusions provide support for the inclusion of boldfaced terms in textbooks to aid student study and learning.