Just like we all perceive the world differently, we all learn differently. As a college student, I personally am what you would call a “visual learner”. This means that I remember what I read and write better than what I hear. I am also very good at recalling charts, diagrams and maps. However, everyone is unique in their learning styles. Thus, people process, absorb, comprehend and retain information differently. In this study, we are particularly interested in learning how people learn and memorize information.
The picture superiority effect refers to the phenomenon in which pictures and images are better remembered and recalled than words. According to John Medina’s Brain Rules, based on research into the picture superiority effect, when we read text alone, we are likely to remember only 10 percent of the information 3 days later (Medina, 2008). If that information is presented to us as text combined with a relevant image, we are likely to remember 65 percent of the information 3 days later (Medina, 2008). Further research by Vaidya C.J & Gabrieli, J.D.E explaining the picture superiority effect suggests that pictures engage greater conceptual elaborative processing than words (Vaidya et al, 2000).
“Human memory is extremely sensitive to the symbolic modality of presentation of event information” (Yuille, 2014). This means that our brain simply detects and processes images more carefully. This might be because pictures are more in depth than and “speak louder than words”. The picture superiority effect is still in debate by research which is why my group and I decided to run an experiment on it.