Waller, K., Hill, N., Meyers, C., McCord, A., and Gibson, C. (2020). The effect of infographics on recall of information about genetically modified foods. Journal of Agricultural Education, 61(3), 22-37. https://doi.org/10.5032/jae.2020.03022
Although multiple agricultural literacy campaigns exist, studies have found many people struggle to
grasp agriculture topics. In order to process and learn information, individuals use a limited pool of
cognitive resources. When topics or media messages are complex, those resources can be overwhelmed,
thus hindering the learning process. Visual aids can prevent this from occurring. The purpose of this
research was to test the use of infographics to communicate the topic of genetically modified foods.
One-hundred-thirty undergraduate students were exposed to one of two randomly assigned stimuli.
Both stimuli contained the same information about genetically modified foods, but one was presented
in the form of an infographic, while the other was a text-only narrative. After viewing, participants
were tested in a variety of ways on their ability to recall information. Sixty-nine of these participants
took part in a delayed survey a week after stimuli exposure to again test recall and retention of the
information they viewed. No significant difference was found in retention and recall rates when using
an infographic versus a narrative to communicate a complex topic. However, this study provides
several implications for future research in the area of visual communications in agricultural literacy.