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This article describes a study that whose results support an interference hypothesis for students who choose to learn with same-ethnicity APAs. College students learned about science with a multimedia program. One group (choice or C) chose to learn with or without an animated pedagogical agent (APA) representing a male or female of five different ethnicities. Another group (no-choice or NC) was assigned an APA by the system. All participants in C group chose to learn with APAs and students of color chose significantly more same-ethnicity APAs than White American students. A significant interaction between choice and ethnic similarity factors revealed that group C produced lower retention, transfer, and program ratings when learning with same-ethnicity rather than different-ethnicity APAs.
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