Distance-Dependent Processing of Pictures and Words

Elinor Amit, Daniel Algom, Yaacov Trope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A series of 8 experiments investigated the association between pictorial and verbal representations and the psychological distance of the referent objects from the observer. The results showed that people better process pictures that represent proximal objects and words that represent distal objects than pictures that represent distal objects and words that represent proximal objects. These results were obtained with various psychological distance dimensions (spatial, temporal, and social), different tasks (classification and categorization), and different measures (speed of processing and selective attention). The authors argue that differences in the processing of pictures and words emanate from the physical similarity of pictures, but not words, to the referents. Consequently, perceptual analysis is commonly applied to pictures but not to words. Pictures thus impart a sense of closeness to the referent objects and are preferably used to represent such objects, whereas words do not convey proximity and are preferably used to represent distal objects in space, time, and social perspective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)400-415
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Volume138
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2009

Fingerprint

Word Processing
Psychology

Keywords

  • distance
  • pictures
  • words

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience

Cite this

Distance-Dependent Processing of Pictures and Words. / Amit, Elinor; Algom, Daniel; Trope, Yaacov.

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Vol. 138, No. 3, 08.2009, p. 400-415.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Amit, Elinor ; Algom, Daniel ; Trope, Yaacov. / Distance-Dependent Processing of Pictures and Words. In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 2009 ; Vol. 138, No. 3. pp. 400-415.
@article{cd00af24963142df9dbdc6b7e804ed86,
title = "Distance-Dependent Processing of Pictures and Words",
abstract = "A series of 8 experiments investigated the association between pictorial and verbal representations and the psychological distance of the referent objects from the observer. The results showed that people better process pictures that represent proximal objects and words that represent distal objects than pictures that represent distal objects and words that represent proximal objects. These results were obtained with various psychological distance dimensions (spatial, temporal, and social), different tasks (classification and categorization), and different measures (speed of processing and selective attention). The authors argue that differences in the processing of pictures and words emanate from the physical similarity of pictures, but not words, to the referents. Consequently, perceptual analysis is commonly applied to pictures but not to words. Pictures thus impart a sense of closeness to the referent objects and are preferably used to represent such objects, whereas words do not convey proximity and are preferably used to represent distal objects in space, time, and social perspective.",
keywords = "distance, pictures, words",
author = "Elinor Amit and Daniel Algom and Yaacov Trope",
year = "2009",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1037/a0015835",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "138",
pages = "400--415",
journal = "Journal of Experimental Psychology: General",
issn = "0096-3445",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Distance-Dependent Processing of Pictures and Words

AU - Amit, Elinor

AU - Algom, Daniel

AU - Trope, Yaacov

PY - 2009/8

Y1 - 2009/8

N2 - A series of 8 experiments investigated the association between pictorial and verbal representations and the psychological distance of the referent objects from the observer. The results showed that people better process pictures that represent proximal objects and words that represent distal objects than pictures that represent distal objects and words that represent proximal objects. These results were obtained with various psychological distance dimensions (spatial, temporal, and social), different tasks (classification and categorization), and different measures (speed of processing and selective attention). The authors argue that differences in the processing of pictures and words emanate from the physical similarity of pictures, but not words, to the referents. Consequently, perceptual analysis is commonly applied to pictures but not to words. Pictures thus impart a sense of closeness to the referent objects and are preferably used to represent such objects, whereas words do not convey proximity and are preferably used to represent distal objects in space, time, and social perspective.

AB - A series of 8 experiments investigated the association between pictorial and verbal representations and the psychological distance of the referent objects from the observer. The results showed that people better process pictures that represent proximal objects and words that represent distal objects than pictures that represent distal objects and words that represent proximal objects. These results were obtained with various psychological distance dimensions (spatial, temporal, and social), different tasks (classification and categorization), and different measures (speed of processing and selective attention). The authors argue that differences in the processing of pictures and words emanate from the physical similarity of pictures, but not words, to the referents. Consequently, perceptual analysis is commonly applied to pictures but not to words. Pictures thus impart a sense of closeness to the referent objects and are preferably used to represent such objects, whereas words do not convey proximity and are preferably used to represent distal objects in space, time, and social perspective.

KW - distance

KW - pictures

KW - words

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=69049113905&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=69049113905&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/a0015835

DO - 10.1037/a0015835

M3 - Article

VL - 138

SP - 400

EP - 415

JO - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

JF - Journal of Experimental Psychology: General

SN - 0096-3445

IS - 3

ER -