Using Visual Interpretation to Expand Perspectives

“Oceans of emotion can be transmitted through a text message, an emoji sequence, and a winking semicolon, but humans are hardwired to respond to visuals.”

-Jenna Wortham, American Journalist

There is great power in visuals…from expression of thought to branding to supporting your concepts and ideas. When properly used or placed, visuals can greatly strengthen the impact of any message.

A Theory Promoting the Power of Visuals

“Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text by the human brain and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual.”

-Ekaterina Walter, The Power of Visual Storytelling

My wife Elizabeth is a lifelong learner. She is a career educator/teacher who is about to complete an advanced specialist degree in Information Technology. Her current class is studying dual-coding theory, which was first introduced by Allan Paivio in the 1960’s. Dual-coding theory states that individuals process verbal and non-verbal (visual) information separately where:

  • Verbal or visual information can be introduced directly
  • One can introduce (reference) the other
  • The two can be associated with one another

Dual-coding theory can be applied to multiple work settings such as mnemonics, problem-solving and concept learning. As stated above, there is great power in having visuals support a written idea or message, or the visual can be the leading message and words can support it.

Application of Visuals

“It’s a visual world and people respond to visuals.”

-Joe Sacco, Cartoonist and Journalist

Another approach to using visuals for learning, development and information sharing is introducing only visuals to individuals who must use them to tell (or create) a story. This could be 1 image that frames up a specific situation, or a series of images that can be used to create a detailed story or fact pattern.

At Learning Curve Consultants, we use these approaches when appropriate to assist our clients with problem-solving, as well as personal and professional development. This is a very powerful approach to driving collaboration and gaining alignment in preparation for important initiatives.

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