Coherence Principle

A design recommendation from Mayer’s (2001) cognitive theory of multimedia learning. The coherence principle is a reformulation of the traditional principle of reduction.

The coherence principle can be demonstrated with high effect sizes of 1.66 d (Cohen’s d). The coherence principle holds under the conditions that the learner’s prior experience is low and the content is complex.

Adherents of cognitive psychology view working memory as a critical factor in learning. Considering the coherence principle aims to enable better use of working memory.


Mayer, Richard E. (2001): Multimedia Learning. Cambridge [u. a.]: Cambridge Univ. Press

Sweller, John (1999): Instructional Design. Camberwell, Victoria: ACER Press (Australian Education Review 43).