Dissertation Information for Paul Brian Gandel
- Paul Brian Gandel
- Library and Information Science
- Syracuse University (USA) (1986)
- Jeffrey H. Katzer
- Thomas H. Martin
- Marta Leszlei Dosa
- Evelyn Hope Daniel
- Antje Bultmann Lemke
- Ernest Franklin Martin
- Nikos Metallinos
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: THE EFFECT OF PICTORIAL FIELD FORCES ON MEANING AND SIMILARITY IN HUMAN VISUAL INFORMATION-PROCESSING (PICTURE PERCEPTION)
Abstract: This study investigated the effect of one set of compositional elements theorized to be important in structuring pictorial messages--pictorial field forces. Two research questions were addressed: (1) Will variation in a field force change perceptions of the connotative meaning of a picture? (2) Do field forces influence people's perceptions of pictures by pointing out significant similarities and differences among pictures? Four field forces were operationalized: (a) asymmetry of the frame, (b) attraction of mass/frame magnetism, (c) main direction and, (d) index vector.
Experiment I measured the effect of field forces on connotative meaning. Subjects were shown four pairs of still pictures. Twenty-one semantic differential scales were used as the initial dependent measures, reduced through factor analysis, and finally combined into indexes which measured the same dimensions of connotative meaning. Summary indexes of activity and evaluation were created for all field forces. A potency index was created for three field forces. To test the effect a 2 x 3 x 2 (type of picture x pictorial scene x field force variation) split plot factorial design with repeated measures was used. Results indicated that only variations of main direction and attraction of mass/frame magnetism significantly connotative meaning. For both these field forces, significant interactions with pictorial scene and type of picture were found.
Experiment II tested the effect of field forces on picture similarity. To test this effect subjects were asked to judge the similarity of 128 still picture pairs. Two analyses were done: (a) comparing systematic field force changes with systematic object changes using standardized scores and, (b) comparing similarity judgments of different configurations of the same field force using a 4 x 2 (object x field force variation) factorial design with repeated measures. Results indicated that object changes were rated substantially greater than field force changes on similarity judgments and that subjects rated pictures with a diagonal main direction as more similar than those with a horizontal main direction. No significant effects were found for other field forces.
Results of both experiments indicated field force effects may be more limited than first conceptualized. Degree of overall balance or symmetry was proposed as the key factor determining the strength of field force effects.