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Does speaker’s voice enthusiasm affect social cue, cognitive load and transfer in multimedia learning?

Tze Wei Liew (Human-Centric Technology Interaction SIG, Multimedia University, Melaka, Malaysia)
Su-Mae Tan (Department of Information Science and Technology, Multimedia University, Melaka, Malaysia)
Teck Ming Tan (Oulu Business School, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland)
Si Na Kew (Language Academy, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru, Malaysia)

Information and Learning Sciences

ISSN: 2398-5348

Article publication date: 14 March 2020




This study aims to examine the effects of voice enthusiasm (enthusiastic voice vs calm voice) on social ratings of the speaker, cognitive load and transfer performance in multimedia learning.


Two laboratory experiments were conducted in which learners learned from a multimedia presentation about computer algorithm that was narrated by either an enthusiastic human voice or a calm human voice.


Results from Experiment 1 revealed that the enthusiastic voice narration led to higher social ratings of the speaker and transfer performance when compared to the calm voice narration. Experiment 2 demonstrated that the enthusiastic voice led to higher affective social ratings (human-like and engaging) and transfer performance as compared to the calm voice. Moreover, it was shown that a calm voice prompted a higher germane load than an enthusiastic voice, which conforms to the argument that prosodic cues in voice can influence processing in multimedia learning among non-native speakers.


This study extends from prior studies that examined voice effects related to mechanization, accent, dialect, and slang in multimedia learning to examining the effects of voice enthusiasm in multimedia learning.



This research was supported by Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education under Fundamental Research Grant Scheme with ID: FRGS/1/2019/SSI09/MMU/03/5. The authors would like to thank Jessica Tee, Wei Ming Pang, and Muhammad Mukhtar Bin Miz for their assistance in setting up the computer laboratories. The authors thank the editor and anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments. Last but not least, the authors thank the participants for their willingness to participate in the experiments.


Liew, T.W., Tan, S.-M., Tan, T.M. and Kew, S.N. (2020), "Does speaker’s voice enthusiasm affect social cue, cognitive load and transfer in multimedia learning?", Information and Learning Sciences, Vol. 121 No. 3/4, pp. 117-135.



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