[Air-l] Research on Effects of Power Point?

Irene Berkowitz berkowitz at mail.temple.edu
Wed Jun 4 07:49:25 PDT 2003

I teach a class in public speaking and persuasion and my students, which
are mainly business students, are often required to use powerpoint. 
They claim that it has made them very serial thinkers. This means they
think in "lists" rather than in evidentiary terms to support their
arguments.  I know this isn't exactly what you are looking for, but
several of them commented on the differences re: how to construct an
argument from a rhetorical perspective and how they are being taught to
think about business problems.  A piece of anecdotal info. for what's
it's worth.  BTW, this is why the business school requires them to take
this course and they have had input in constructing the syllabus.


Irene Berkowitz
Program Director, Curricular Publications and Systems
Office of the Vice Provost
Temple University
tel. 215-204-7596  fax. 215-204 3175
berkowitz at mail.temple.edu

>>> bowseat at bethmazur.com 06/03/2003 9:12:00 PM >>>
>Does anyone know of research (formal or otherwise) on the effects of
>Point formatting on emerging writing styles, logical argumentation
>or comprehension? I'd be grateful for any data for (or against) the
>adage that "Power corrupts but Power Point corrupts absolutely."

On the "for" side, you may want to check out Edward Tufte's (who's 
acknowledged for the 'corruption" quote) very recent publication
"The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint" ($7 on Tufte's site at
http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/books_pp. I'm not sure that it
includes any real research data, but I'm sure the argument will be

Beth Mazur
IDblog: http://idblog.org 

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