A brief sketch of the last 20 years of research on instructional pictures is given with an emphasis on the effects of increasingly analytical approaches, changing conceptions, and changing research questions. Trends in recent picture research, last 10 years, are discussed in greater depth with emphasis on three groups of studies: pictures vs. pictures, pictures vs. words, and pictures plus words. Selected studies in each group are described along with recent theoretical explanations of the pictorial superiority effect and of other pictorial information processing effects. Some of the possible implications of these trends for educational research and practice are mentioned.
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