Psychology of the Image


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Add text on or with your image, and you can reinforce your visual message. This is great to know when it comes to optimizing landing pages. We need pictures and text. We respond to images rapidly, and take in the information without any cognitive effort. Information processing on that level can be tapped for its conversion-boosting power.

How images can improve conversions

Images say things much more eloquently than text. So, what are some of the secrets for using images for conversions? Every time you use an image, it needs to be with purpose. It has meaning and purpose. Often, web designers simply pull images from a stock photo site, pop it on their web page, and call it done.

Mental Imagery (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Make sure that there is some connection. This can be challenging for some service-based sites. For example, what if you sell data storage? No, but you can show a picture of a happy businesswoman using a laptop, right? It just needs to have some level of coherence with the product or service being discussed. You simply will not be able to sell a product unless you show a picture of it. If you sell a product, show pictures of it — big, beautiful, custom pictures.

Mental Imagery

Okay, so not everyone is selling svelte silver vehicles. I get that. Show something else, or even someone else. Salesforce is a SaaS software as a service , but their landing pages has images that convey attitudes, actions and emotions that are related to the product. Got it? The brain has a remarkable ability to group related images together, and to ascertain what a whole image looks like based on a part of it looks like.

The brain has a limited bandwidth, know as attention. We have to focus attention on small visual areas to make sense of them. You would almost have to look at each face individually, or at least a group of people at time to find your friend. Images are much more powerful when they are focused on one thing. This image from Apple works way more effectively. I see one thing. I focus. I can place all my mental focus on the iPhone 6 — not anything else. Rolex does a powerful job of this. Their responsive site has detailed product images.

And this is a screenshot, in all its tens-of-thousands-of-pixels glory. I tend to disagree with that blanket statement.

Their application of it — different shots of the same product — tends to work okay. However, as a general rule, work on featuring one image at a time.

"IMAGES" - A Psychological Short Film

Amazon recognizes the importance of keeping one image at a time in front of the customer. All their product views allow thumbnails, but not a whole spread of images. This is intentional and strategic.


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Lifeproof takes a similar approach by featuring plenty of thumbnails, but only one featured image at a time. Generally speaking, bigger is better. According to the traditional standards of visual design and concept, the photographs ranged from acceptable to excellent composition, with some portraying straightforwardly benign ideas e. Some of the recalled images had pop and some were quite mundane.

Psychological Image Collection at Stirling (PICS)

For example, despite the fact that the graveyard clown was one of the top 20 images that stood out for the students during the slide show, only one person recalled this photo afterwards. In fact, there was very little overlap in what specific images the students remembered after the slide presentation, and only half of the top 20 images that stood out during the slide show were later recalled after the slide show ended.

What might this finding suggest? Perhaps the pop of visual design and concept has an immediate conscious impact on what stands out for people as they view an ongoing stream of images, but what they later recall, what lingers in their minds, and most probably in their unconscious, is determined more by their individual personalities and backgrounds.

We long for oneness and tranquility. This desire for a peaceful and happy feeling of belonging occurred in reaction to images of nature, as well as to a variety of other types of images, including those pictures that stirred ideas about joining with friends and family members, sleeping peacefully, immersing into books, and becoming one with sport activities and the team.

Some of the students longed for a release from the stresses and demands of our contemporary, multitasking, forever-busy lifestyle, and a return to a state of simplicity, clearness of mind, and presence in the here and now. Paradoxically, contemporary media continually bombard us with a never-ending stream of fantastic, supercharged, and exciting images, when what really attracts people is simply a return to a state of oneness and tranquility.

Negative emotions are stimulated by dream-like images. After the slide show ended, only ten students recalled a photo that stirred exclusively negative emotions. I found it interesting that all of these images were not realistic looking photographs, but rather surrealistic, dark, or blurry scenes, much like one would experience in dream-like states of consciousness, as in nightmares.

What might this suggest? Perhaps many of us usually defend against remembering images in the media that arouse negative feelings, but if an image does break through those protective barriers, it will more likely succeed when it simulates unconscious, dream-like modes of perception, or it will succeed for those people who are more susceptible to these dream-like styles of thinking.

Of course, that made sense when they associated positive feelings and memories with the photo. However, even in cases when the image triggered negative emotions, the students still tended to say that they would not change anything about the photo. A few people remarked that if they could enter the picture, they would provide some kind of assistance or support to the person in the photo who appeared distressed, and yet they would still not change the image itself. As a psychologist who studies photography, I found this quite profound, because it supports what many photographers say about their work, including and perhaps especially their images that capture a moment depicting suffering in the human condition.

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adinerinut.ga If you liked this article in Photographic Psychology , you might also enjoy these:. Jump Menu Index of Articles Introduction to photographic psychology 1. Sensation and perception 2. The psychology of composition 3. Our conscious mind goes numb, but not our unconscious mind It was clear that the number of photos that stood out for the students faded over the course of the slide show. There are high and low responders Some students listed many photos as standing out for them during the slide show, while others listed very few.

Individual differences trump visual design and concept According to the traditional standards of visual design and concept, the photographs ranged from acceptable to excellent composition, with some portraying straightforwardly benign ideas e. Negative emotions are stimulated by dream-like images After the slide show ended, only ten students recalled a photo that stirred exclusively negative emotions.

Psychology of the Image Psychology of the Image
Psychology of the Image Psychology of the Image
Psychology of the Image Psychology of the Image
Psychology of the Image Psychology of the Image
Psychology of the Image Psychology of the Image
Psychology of the Image Psychology of the Image

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