Sunday, October 28, 2007

Perception of a Picture versus an Article

First, look at the picture of the kitten and allow yourself time to process it
(Imagine this cat is a cat in need of a home)

Now read the article about the need for cat adoption
How to Help a Homeless Cat

Every year millions of homeless cats are euthanized. These are adoptable and healthy cats that weren’t as lucky as some of their neighbor kitties at the shelter – the cats who found their forever homes. Many more homeless cats roam the streets, unwanted and unloved. Everyday they battle the dangers of the harsh outdoors – desperately seeking food and refuge from the elements when Mother Nature wreaks havoc. They are at great risk for disease and other dangers, such as being hit by a car or killed by a predator. The lives of these cats are very different from those of our beloved cats whom we consider our family members. And I believe each of these homeless cats, whether currently in a shelter, foster home or on the street, has the potential to be a precious, loving member of a family. Think about your cat and all the joy and love s/he brings you. What if you hadn’t been introduced to your kitty and s/he was one of the millions of homeless cats? What treasures are we missing out on with each homeless cat that dies on the street or is euthanized merely to make room for another homeless cat at an overcrowded shelter?

Did you respond more to the picture or to the article? After viewing which one would you be more likely to adopt a cat? Discuss the knowledge issues of perception in your answer.


katrina337 said...

I responded more to the article than I did the picture. With the picture it just looks like a cute cat in a pretty tree. The article actually explained the situation. And it made it more personal to the reader, if they have cats, which I don't. But anyway. It leaves a lot of room for bias, but I don't know if bias really affects anything negatively in this situation. I don't remember any of the other knowledge claims right now.

Stitches said...

I responded more to the picture than I did to the article. The article to me is simply a bunch of words... whereas the picture actually conveys emotion that i can connect to. How people respond probably relates to how they learn (yes...relating it to critical skills...uh oh), and i am a much more visual and intuitive person than i am a logical one.

Dani said...

I agree with Katrina, I didnt see the cat in the tree as "homeless" until i read the article. Maybe if it were a wet, bedraggled kitten in a cardboard box with a sign that said "Free Kittens to Good Home" I would get it (but that may be because I've seen Oliver and Company way, way too many times)

katrina337 said...

I think Oliver and Company actually relates a lot...I mean, it shows that homeless cats are displeased with their situation, and they're getting rained on and (if they're in a cardboard box) cramped in a small living space with a bunch of other kittens. And then when they get a home, it stops raining and and they're happy (anyone notice how they use the rain in that movie? It's quite interesting). Anyway.
Let's talk about word-based versus imagery-based visual sense perception!
Images can leave out a lot of information, such as if the cat is actually homeless or not. That cat doesn't appear homeless to me, so my reaction is "okay, it's a picture of cat."
Words tend to carry more detail, though articles tend to be more mundane than pictures. It incorporates more of the story, leaving less up to the reader. After reading the story I can understand that the cat is homeless and needs a new home. If the article is worded well, it will create even more emotion than the picture.
"A picture's worth a thousand words" may be true, but there is a more concrete message in an article than in a picture, and so if one is trying to convey a certain point (such as, give these cats a home because they are poor bedraggled creatures that just want a home), then it might be better to write an article than use a picture.

Yay! Now I hope that made sense.

StarD said...

By first looking at the picture i imediatly found out something... This picture is not real. This picture actually has been photoshoped. Look at the branches, one of them is literally sticking out from the cat. Anyhow i guess my perception is from the actual picture because the cat just seems to be there, Anyhow it really seems like the cat isn't in that much pain or some kind of negative feling. I don't really see the point of helping it...

KellyR. said...

When I see picture I think of happiness and I think that the cat is fine, the picture needs some cat stuck in the cold snow, not out in a warm environment to move me to care.

katrina337 said...

stard: which branch is sticking out from the cat? I see branches going over the cat and coming out from branches underneath the cat, but I can't find one sticking out from the cat.

Rebecca said...

Since everyone seems in favor of the article (myself included) I'm going to try and argue in favor of the picture. Though this one is kind of a bad example, pictures can generally convey a lot more meaning than words. Think about Kevin Carter's picture of the starving child trying to crawl to water with the vulture in the background. Would it leave more of an impact on you if you read an aritcle describing it or if you actually saw the picture? Though words might provide more detail/context a picture allows something to be presented in a certain way that, if done right, will leave an impression on you. A knowledge issue is that sometimes pictures will zero in on one thing while completely ignoring something else which could give you an invalid account of what's really going on.

Seanna said...

I realize that the picture looks like just a cute kitten in a tree. It was difficult for me to find a good picture for this post. I still think that if a person knew this cat was homeless and saw how cute it was they would really want to help it. I know that when I read the newspaper a see the pictures of the animals that need adoption I truly want to help them, even though the picture is not of a starving kitten in a box in the snow.
P.S. - Star D - the picture is original (I know this because it is my picture) and has not gone through any computer processing.

StarD said...

ok sorry about that, the one branch that i was looking at was actually coming under the cat instead of through... sorry