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Why We Say A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

By Edited May 1, 2015 0 0

Pictures vs. words

Today people are still just as much impacted by pictures than ever before. Pictures speak volumes and allows someone to get a point across without even having to speak. Exercises have been used in work places today to solidify this saying even more, which this article will explain in a little bit. It's so interesting how our minds work, so let's dive in and see what this is all about.

Our mind

The human mind is based around pictures and images. We look at our world today and see images everywhere from our eyes, and these pictures we see make an impact in our minds. When a person uses an illustration to portray something they are trying t

o say, that image will give us a much greater understanding into what that person is speaking instead of just words. When a person is talking you aren't necessarily listening to their words and formulating the sentence, you are instead painting a picture of the scenario in your mind and using that illustration your mind created with your imagination to play out that scene.

When people read books or stories, it's impossible to read that story without our mind's imagination running wild. It's because of this same idea of how our minds are wired; we are based on pictures and not text. When you are reading your mind is playing out the words on the page into a movie or film, so you can explore the world the book has created in a more real way. This is why when books are turned into films people will say things like "Oh I never imagined that this person looked like that" or "I imagined this area different than what the movie showed". This is because we use pictures and imagination to portray something real to us since words on a page will not do that.

Solidifying the concept

In college we had a task to pick out 3 pictures in the massive art gallery we had on campus and looking at the picture sit down and write about what it was saying. I found myself astonished about how I wrote nearly 3 pages on one single picture! It impacted me so much and made me  curious as to why we as humans are capable of looking at a single still image and from that create an entire story. A picture is worth a thousand words never ringed so true, because my assignment went over 1000 words. It is truly amazing when thinking about it how we see much more with a picture than we do with words, this is why schools are embracing film and media into the classroom to teach. Students learn a lot faster with videos and pictures to reinforce concepts and lessons that are taught.

Work exercise

I will never forget this as the exercise really showed me the power of words vs pictures. We each had a partner and faced opposite of each other in a chair. One person had a blank piece of paper and a pencil, while the other person had a piece of paper with a picture on it. The object of this exercise was to showcase good communication but I loved how it showed the

difference between words and pictures. When the exercise started we had to explain the picture to the person with the blank paper and help them in drawing it like we saw it. We explained how to take a rectangle and put it on it's side so it's more horizontal than vertical, then take a triangle and put the left tip of the triangle on the top right point of the rectangle. This exercise continued on for a while until they said they had everything down. It doesn't seem too hard until it was over and we looked and the image looked nothing like the one we saw. It shows that going strictly by instruction we can have something totally different going on in our heads and looks nothing like what we saw. Then when the roles switched we tried it again and things still didn't look right. The point is pictures are hard to explain with words, but words are easy to explain with pictures.

Growing up

When we were children growing up everything was new to our world. We weren't sitting around reading words all the time, but instead were exploring what the world had to offer. We didn't understand the concept of an apple until the teacher showed us an apple and then we put the letters a-p-p-l-e together to mean that it was this juicy fruit we looked at. We are taught as children to learn via pictures and then when given the text form of that word we think of the actual object and then understand what it's talking about. When we first learn to read, every book is loaded with

Child Reading
pictures so when reading a simple phrase like "The cat likes to play with the ball" we see a picture above it with a cat playing with a ball. This solidifies this concept in our minds and we take it with us for the rest of our lives.

As humans we have an imagination for a reason; we use it to be creative. Creativity is grounded in images because it's impossible to think of a new creative idea or project without first imagining things with pictures and images. We conjure up these pictures in our minds and then use it to push forward with our agenda or idea. This has been instilled into us since childhood because it teaches us to use the mind in the way it was made.

True saying

So the saying of "A picture is worth a thousand words" is exactly true from our experiences as humans from birth to death. This is why schools and colleges teach now with film and pictures instead of just basic PowerPoint and chalkboard words. People look at a wall of text and immediately tune out because they don't see a single picture in there to help reinforce what the wall of text is saying. Even here on Infobarrel they make the point that articles with pictures get better scores and do better than articles that are just text piled on top of text. It makes the writing look nicer and helps paint pictures that we otherwise would have to work to achieve in our minds.



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