The influence of the bulleted list format on recall and evaluation of functional text (i.e., health flyers, direct mail letters, and recipes) is investigated in five studies in which the same series of components, formatted as enumerations in a paragraph, function as the control condition. In three studies, the bulleted list format has a positive effect on the reader’s ability to recall the content of the items of the series. This positive effect is mitigated if the components are heterogeneous. In two studies, bulleted lists have a negative effect on the recall of content presented in the surrounding text. In another two studies, bulleted lists have a (positive) effect on the reader’s evaluation of the text.
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(2001) Evaluation of list vs paragraph text format on search time for warning symptoms in a product manual. A.C. Bittner, et al. (eds.) Advances in occupational ergonomics and safety. (434–438). Clifton (VA): IOS press.
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