Picture Superiority Effect and Visuals in Learning

Written by Addie Johnson

Sometimes, the hardest part about studying is being able to remember the information. Studies have shown that pictures can often help people remember things better than notes or reading from a textbook can, especially over a longer period of time. The idea that photos are easier to recall is called the Picture Superiority Effect. When studying with pictures, a person’s ability to recall is shown to increase by fifty-five percent than when just studying with text. However, you cannot just look at an image and assume you will know all the information that goes along with it. There has to be a balance of both informative photos and text.

Visuals, in general, are often vital to learning. Visuals allow you to better understand a concept. Most students prefer learning through visuals such as pictures and videos because they are often more appealing and entertaining to them, which motivates students to learn more. Visuals are often easier to communicate and more efficient for the students. People’s brains are able to process visuals more quickly, specifically 60,000 times faster than they can process textual information. Images allow students to better comprehend the information that is being presented because it forces them to, almost unknowingly, analyze the photo based on their previous knowledge of the topic. Visuals often stimulate emotions. Connecting an idea to an emotion helps for better recall of the information by creating a lasting impression.


Photos By: Getty Images, Copyright Chud Tsankov



About the author

Addie Johnson