No! Say it ain’t so! The Overcoming Bias blog has this study from the Journal of Experimental Psychology that shows that interesting details interfere with learning:
In both experiments, as the interestingness of details was increased, student understanding decreased (as measured by transfer). Results are consistent with a cognitive theory of multimedia learning, in which highly interesting details sap processing capacity away from deeper cognitive processing of the core material during learning.
I reject this. As a parakeet-style “Oh, pretty!” learner and collector of shiny trivia, I feel like my brain has just come under attack! What about context, man? What about the human element? Don’t take my bizarre connections away!