News Concreteness and Visual-Verbal Association Do News Pictures Narrow the Recall Gap Between Concrete and Abstract News?

Authors

  • PRABU DAVID

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    1. Prabu David (Ph.D., University of North Carolina) is an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Communication at Ohio State University.
      Prabu David, 3016 Derby Hall, 154 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210; phone: 614-292-7438; fax: 614-292-1055; e-mail: david.15@osu.edu.
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  • An abstract of this article, coauthored with Hsuan-Yuan Huang, was presented to the Info Systems Division at the annual meeting of International Communication Association, Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1995. This study was funded by a seed grant from the Office of Research, Ohio State University. The author would like to thank Annie Lang, Cindy Gallois, Eric Fredin, Mike Basil, and two anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. The author would also like to thank Hsuan-Yuan Huang and Stacy Everly for their help with various stages of this project.

Prabu David, 3016 Derby Hall, 154 North Oval Mall, Columbus, OH 43210; phone: 614-292-7438; fax: 614-292-1055; e-mail: david.15@osu.edu.

Abstract

In three experiments with difficult stimuli, it was found that the addition of a representative picture to a news item improves recall of that item. Second, as predicted by dual-coding theory (DCT), concrete news items were recalled better than abstract news items (Experiments 2 and 3). Furthermore, concrete news items benefited more from the addition of a news picture than did abstract news items (Experiment 3). In Experiment 4, it was found that news concreteness was strongly correlated with various picture attributes, including visual-verbal overlap, which might in part explain the differential gain in recall from the addition of pictures to concrete and abstract news. The results are explained using Paivio's DCT.

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