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For whom is a picture worth a thousand words? How does the visualizing cognitive style affect processing of news photos?
Unformatted Document Text:  Processing of news photos 12 Stimuli Each participant viewed 36 news photos taken from the National Press Photographers Association/University of Missouri School of Journalism 1996 Pictures of the Year competition archives. There were 12 photographs in each of three categories: Accidents (a common local news story topic), then President Clinton (a national news story topic) and War (an international news story topic). All photographs were displayed as black-and-white images, and were similarly sized. Measures Participants viewed all 36 photographs for as long as they liked (the attention measure). The presentation software recorded the time each image was viewed. Following the presentation, a survey was administered. The first questions asked of the participants were demographic and media use items, followed by the 20 items that form the visualizer and verbalizer scales (Kirby et al.’s (1988) items; see Appendix A). These questions also served to distract participants from the photographs they had seen. Next came a free recall section where the participants were asked to write down a description of all the photographs they could remember. The total number of images recalled formed the recall variable. The participants then rated all 36 photographs on 10 7-point perceptual scales. The ten scales, based on those used by Berlyne (1973; 1974; 1975), with updated language, were: active/calm; emotional/unemotional; simple/complex; organized/disorganized; interesting/uninteresting; pleasing/displeasing; like/dislike; surprising/unsurprising; informative/uninformative; and atypical/typical.

Authors: Mendelson, Andrew.
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background image
Processing of news photos
12
Stimuli
Each participant viewed 36 news photos taken from the National Press Photographers
Association/University of Missouri School of Journalism 1996 Pictures of the Year competition
archives. There were 12 photographs in each of three categories: Accidents (a common local
news story topic), then President Clinton (a national news story topic) and War (an international
news story topic). All photographs were displayed as black-and-white images, and were similarly
sized.
Measures
Participants viewed all 36 photographs for as long as they liked (the attention measure).
The presentation software recorded the time each image was viewed. Following the
presentation, a survey was administered. The first questions asked of the participants were
demographic and media use items, followed by the 20 items that form the visualizer and
verbalizer scales (Kirby et al.’s (1988) items; see Appendix A). These questions also served to
distract participants from the photographs they had seen. Next came a free recall section where
the participants were asked to write down a description of all the photographs they could
remember. The total number of images recalled formed the recall variable. The participants
then rated all 36 photographs on 10 7-point perceptual scales. The ten scales, based on those
used by Berlyne (1973; 1974; 1975), with updated language, were: active/calm;
emotional/unemotional; simple/complex; organized/disorganized; interesting/uninteresting;
pleasing/displeasing; like/dislike; surprising/unsurprising; informative/uninformative; and
atypical/typical.


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