Archive for the ‘Propagandists’ Category

The “eye candy” effect

September 2, 2007

Fascinating information from the book unSpun:

The Eye Candy Effect: pictures tend to overpower spoken words.

Propagandists know that when words say one thing and pictures say another, it’s the pictures that count.

Drug companies have become particularly adept at showing us smiling faces and flowery pictures while the narrator recites material they hope we won’t notice, such as those lists of unpleasant and even debilitating or dangerous possible side effects.

For example, there was a TV ad for the anti-depressant drug Praxil CR.  In the ad it showed an attractive young woman walking her dog in a park , chatting with friends, smiling, obviously free of depression. Meanwhile, an announcer was saying, “Side effects may include nausea, sweating, sexual side effects, weakness, insomnia, or sleepiness.” Viewers weren’t seeing any of the undesirable possible side effects they were being told about, and as a result, many of them probably weren’t actually hearing the words or taking them into account.

When the words and the pictures differ, what we see tends to override what we hear. It’s just the way human beings are wired.

unSpun finding facts in a world of disinformation by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson