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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 19 presented alone, the story is created completely from the interaction of the image and stored information in the viewer’s long-term memory. A person who learns best visually should have a more complex store of visual stories to context with what they are seeing. Combining the results of this study with the results of Mendelson and Thorson (1997), we get a better sense of how learning styles affect the processing of information from a variety of mass media outlets/formats. Cronbach and Snow (1977: Snow, 1989) argued for the examination of interactions between aptitudes, which include individual differences in personality and learning styles as well as abilities, and treatments or tasks that affect learning. The visualizer and verbalizer aptitudes may interact with the format-specific tasks (see Figure 3). A person’s verbalizing level seems important to understanding how people learn in a more text-oriented environment, such as a newspaper, while a person’s visualizing level is important to understanding how people learn in a completely visual environment, such as photographs on their own. When the goal is learning from newspapers, the information is most often in the text, so one’s verbalizer level will come into play. On the other hand, when looking only at photos, a person’s visualizing level comes into play. These results suggest several areas for further research. We should examine the effect of visualizer/verbalizer cognitive styles on responses to media, such as television which present the information-laden verbal and visual components simultaneously. Both cognitive styles may come into play then. Further, an experiment should be designed to randomly assign visual and verbal learners to tasks that either match their style or not to better test the aptitude-treatment interactions. A Web environment, such as an online newspaper, would be ideal, since this mimics some of the personalizable aspects of interactive media.

Authors: Mendelson, Andrew.
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background image
Processing of news photos
19
presented alone, the story is created completely from the interaction of the image and stored
information in the viewer’s long-term memory. A person who learns best visually should have a
more complex store of visual stories to context with what they are seeing.
Combining the results of this study with the results of Mendelson and Thorson (1997),
we get a better sense of how learning styles affect the processing of information from a variety of
mass media outlets/formats. Cronbach and Snow (1977: Snow, 1989) argued for the examination
of interactions between aptitudes, which include individual differences in personality and
learning styles as well as abilities, and treatments or tasks that affect learning. The visualizer and
verbalizer aptitudes may interact with the format-specific tasks (see Figure 3). A person’s
verbalizing level seems important to understanding how people learn in a more text-oriented
environment, such as a newspaper, while a person’s visualizing level is important to
understanding how people learn in a completely visual environment, such as photographs on
their own. When the goal is learning from newspapers, the information is most often in the text,
so one’s verbalizer level will come into play. On the other hand, when looking only at photos, a
person’s visualizing level comes into play.
These results suggest several areas for further research. We should examine the effect of
visualizer/verbalizer cognitive styles on responses to media, such as television which present the
information-laden verbal and visual components simultaneously. Both cognitive styles may
come into play then. Further, an experiment should be designed to randomly assign visual and
verbal learners to tasks that either match their style or not to better test the aptitude-treatment
interactions. A Web environment, such as an online newspaper, would be ideal, since this
mimics some of the personalizable aspects of interactive media.


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