Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Scott S. Liu, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Roxanne Watson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Artemio Ramirez Jr., Ph.D.


Media multitasking, memory and message modalities


This study explored the relationship between message modalities and memory performance in a media environment. In order to examine the role of message modalities in media multitasking activity, this research investigated the memory performance of participants after their exposure with the news stories and the commercials between same and different modalities. The research employed a 2 X 3 experiment using two independent variables: Modality of news broadcast (audio news vs. audio-visual news) and modality of commercials (audio commercials vs. visual commercials vs. audio-visual commercials). The research questionnaire was intended to reveal the influence of modality on participant performance by recalling the content of news stories, brand names of the commercials and product types of the commercials. Although the results indicate that there is no significant interaction effect of news modality and commercial modality on news recall, the majority of hypothesized interaction effect received support in this study. Finally, this research reinforces the school of human cognitive capacities are domain-specific.