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|Title: ||A psychology of picture perception|
|Authors: ||Kennedy, John M.|
|Keywords: ||picture perception|
images and information
philosophy of representation
theories of pictures
theory of figure and ground
|Issue Date: ||1974|
|Publisher: ||Jossey-Bass Publishers|
|Citation: ||Kennedy, J. M. (1974). A psychology of picture perception. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass Publishers.|
|Abstract: ||For centuries people have repeated the old Chinese saying that one picture is worth ten thousand words. Although exaggerated, the saying makes a point that is still true, for whether a picture is a cave drawing, a photograph, a caricature, or a painting by Picasso, it has the ability to communicate swiftly and accurately; its language is universal. This quality has been recognized since earliest times, but until recently the way pictures communicate has been a mystery and a puzzle. This new book deals with that mystery and shows exactly what scientific investigation in the past few years has done to help solve it.
By concentrating on the way pictures convey information and not on why they have aesthetic qualities--a subject which has been well covered-John Kennedy contributes a unique and valuable discussion to the science of picture perception. He brings together for the first time the most pertinent research in diverse fields, presenting new findings from child psychology, cross-cultural psychology, and animal psychology. He reveals the remarkable extent to which pictures communicate across barriers of time, age group, culture, and even species, without the viewer having prior knowledge of the conventions of the art.
Kennedy discusses the concept of ecological optics, the philosophy of representation, and candidly analyzes current theories of pictures, finding most of them in need of revision. After reinterpreting the famous Danish psychologist Edgar Rubin's classical theory of figure and ground, he goes beyond Rubin to show what lines and contours can actually depict: highlights, edges, shadows, corners, and textures--all the basic features of the visual environment.
The book includes practical demonstrations of optical laws, perspective, and research methods which the reader can try for himself, using the numerous illustrations. Each problem and each research study is described in ways that make few assumptions about the reader's knowledge. Although the book is written by a perception psychologist, it is a useful and highly readable work for everyone studying communication in any of the human sciences.|
|Appears in Collections:||Psychology|
Kennedy, John M.
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