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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 8 only possible with controlled processing both at the time of encoding and at the time of recall (Bargh, 1984; Cowan, 1995). According to Cowan (1995), controlled attention allows for a more complete encoding of a stimulus, longer-lasting activation, and a more deliberate, conscious retrieval process. Both the physical and semantic features of attended stimuli are better encoded. Fisk and Schneider (1984) showed that attention is required for recall and recognition. They had people attend, in varying degrees, to words that were surrounded by numbers. A later recognition test for the words showed that the less attention people paid to the words, the worse their recall and recognition. More evidence of the role of attention on memory is found in research on processing of visual scenes. Memory for a visual scene is directly related to the number of fixations made or the looking-time (Loftus, 1972; Nelson & Loftus, 1980; Rayner & Pollatsek, 1992). Potter and Levy (1969) found that the longer the viewing of each picture, the greater the overall probability of recognizing it correctly. As Nelson and Loftus (1980) stated, “Eye fixations are useful in remembering pictures because the more fixations there are, the greater the likelihood that features will be acquired that will ultimately prove useful for distinguishing a target from distracters” (p. 399). One index of selective attention is how long people attend to or view a stimulus. The amount of time a person spends looking at a stimulus has been called “eyes on screen” (Thorson, 1996) or “voluntary visual attention (VVA)” (Nunnally, 1971). Eyes on screen (EOS) is an index of how much time an individual looks at a television screen. VVA is the amount of time spent looking at different objects within a visual field when there are no instructions given to a study participant.

Authors: Mendelson, Andrew.
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Processing of news photos
8
only possible with controlled processing both at the time of encoding and at the time of recall
(Bargh, 1984; Cowan, 1995). According to Cowan (1995), controlled attention allows for a
more complete encoding of a stimulus, longer-lasting activation, and a more deliberate,
conscious retrieval process. Both the physical and semantic features of attended stimuli are
better encoded. Fisk and Schneider (1984) showed that attention is required for recall and
recognition. They had people attend, in varying degrees, to words that were surrounded by
numbers. A later recognition test for the words showed that the less attention people paid to the
words, the worse their recall and recognition.
More evidence of the role of attention on memory is found in research on processing of
visual scenes. Memory for a visual scene is directly related to the number of fixations made or
the looking-time (Loftus, 1972; Nelson & Loftus, 1980; Rayner & Pollatsek, 1992). Potter and
Levy (1969) found that the longer the viewing of each picture, the greater the overall probability
of recognizing it correctly. As Nelson and Loftus (1980) stated, “Eye fixations are useful in
remembering pictures because the more fixations there are, the greater the likelihood that
features will be acquired that will ultimately prove useful for distinguishing a target from
distracters” (p. 399).
One index of selective attention is how long people attend to or view a stimulus. The
amount of time a person spends looking at a stimulus has been called “eyes on screen” (Thorson,
1996) or “voluntary visual attention (VVA)” (Nunnally, 1971). Eyes on screen (EOS) is an
index of how much time an individual looks at a television screen. VVA is the amount of time
spent looking at different objects within a visual field when there are no instructions given to a
study participant.


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