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Visual Representation and the Prediction of Emotion
Unformatted Document Text:  4 advertisements provide numerous examples of the use of image juxtaposition as a persuasive technique. In one, a Nixon ad run briefly during the 1968 campaign, images of opponent Hubert Humphrey are paired with photographs of the Vietnam war, violence outside the Democratic convention and Appalachian poverty in an attempt to cause voters to associate these threatening events with Humphrey (Jamieson, 1992). Memory and Emotion The primary vehicle through which images contribute to public opinion formation may be their impact on recall of mediated information. Previous research has shown that the type and level of emotional content in photographs or film is linked to the degree to which people recall the information contained within and adjacent to the visual stimuli (Bradley, Greenwald, Petry and Lang, 1992). According to Lang (2000), the presence of emotion-eliciting content in a message helps determine the way it is processed. Emotional stimuli seem to engage the involuntary attention system. This is most likely to our evolutionary advantage since emotion-laden information often relates to aspects of survival such as self-defense or procreation (Zillman and Brosius, 2000). The immediate and heightened attention to these types of stimuli facilitates processing, and, consequently, those images that create a greater emotional response may be more memorable to viewers and have a greater impact on public opinion formation than less emotionally evocative stimuli. Brosius (1993) found that that the presence of emotional images in news resulted in more errors in recall of news content. Interestingly, viewers made

Authors: Sherr, Susan.
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advertisements provide numerous examples of the use of image juxtaposition as a
persuasive technique. In one, a Nixon ad run briefly during the 1968 campaign,
images of opponent Hubert Humphrey are paired with photographs of the
Vietnam war, violence outside the Democratic convention and Appalachian
poverty in an attempt to cause voters to associate these threatening events with
Humphrey (Jamieson, 1992).
Memory and Emotion
The primary vehicle through which images contribute to public opinion
formation may be their impact on recall of mediated information. Previous
research has shown that the type and level of emotional content in photographs or
film is linked to the degree to which people recall the information contained
within and adjacent to the visual stimuli (Bradley, Greenwald, Petry and Lang,
1992). According to Lang (2000), the presence of emotion-eliciting content in a
message helps determine the way it is processed. Emotional stimuli seem to
engage the involuntary attention system. This is most likely to our evolutionary
advantage since emotion-laden information often relates to aspects of survival
such as self-defense or procreation (Zillman and Brosius, 2000). The immediate
and heightened attention to these types of stimuli facilitates processing, and,
consequently, those images that create a greater emotional response may be more
memorable to viewers and have a greater impact on public opinion formation than
less emotionally evocative stimuli.
Brosius (1993) found that that the presence of emotional images in news
resulted in more errors in recall of news content. Interestingly, viewers made


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