Visual Communication

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    • 00:01

      [MUSIC PLAYING][SAGE video tutorials, Visual Communication]

    • 00:10

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER: My name is Arthur Asa Berger.[Arthur Asa Berger, Professor Emeritus of Broadcastand Electronic Communication Arts,San Francisco State University] I'mprofessor emeritus of Broadcast and Electronic CommunicationArts at San Francisco State University.This tutorial is about visual communication.It deals with the process of seeing, it deals with the factthat we can be fooled by what we see,by things like optical illusions,and it deals with the development of visual culture,in which images have become dominant and, for many people,more important than words.

    • 00:40

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: [Visual culture]In recent years, a number of people interestedin visual communication have written booksabout what they call visual culture.The point they make is that imagesare so important in our everyday livesnow that you should understand our cultures as beingessentially visual, rather than logo-centric or based on words.

    • 01:02

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: You can understand this if you lookat something like Facebook, in which 75% of the postingsare of images.So we spend a great deal of time looking at images,interpreting them.And this has led people to think that images are nowthe dominant aspect of our culture.

    • 01:24

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: McLuhan actually talks about that in Understanding Media.He talks about print involving logic,rationality, and things like that,whereas electronic media involve emotion and that kind of thing.So to have moved to a visual culture meansis a kind of change in the psyches of the peoplewho are living in this culture.

    • 01:47

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: They're being affected now by the imagesthey see more than the words they read.[Complexities of vision]Seeing is actually a complicated process.When we look at an object, our eyesscan that object by very short, rapid eye movementscalled saccades.So if you were to look at a photograph of a person lookingat an object, you would see the objectis traced by these very short eye movements, which sortof trace the object itself.

    • 02:19

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: And somebody has actually done a photographof a person scanning an image of Nefertiti, I believe.And you can see how the image of Nefertitiis sort of traced but the saccadesand what the saccades focus on, whichtend to be the eyes, the nose, and the facial featuresof the character.We spend a great deal of our time looking at screens.

    • 02:42

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: It's estimated in America that the average personor the average adult spends eight hours a daylooking at screens.If you consider that we spend five hours a day watchingtelevision and we spend hours looking at computer screensand at mobile screens, it's easy to understand how we arrivedat that figure of eight hours.

    • 03:02

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: And that's a lot of time.[Visual interpretation]Now, one of the things we have to recognizeis that seeing is no longer believing.At one time, we thought, if you sawsomething, that was reality.But now we know that it isn't always the case.There are things like optical illusions that confuse us.Levi's had an advertisement in which theyhad a pair of their pants, but ithad a famous optical illusion, so it lookedlike three pairs of pants.

    • 03:29

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: And your eye couldn't quite comprehendhow to make out the three pairs of pantsthat are coming from one place.People watching is one of our favorite activities.Wherever we are, when we see people walking by,there's a natural tendency to look at themand to try to figure out what emotions they're feeling basedon their facial expression.

    • 03:50

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: It's a perfectly natural thing to do.The interesting thing is that most of the time,there's reason to suspect we makeincorrect identifications of what these people are actuallyfeeling.[Visual interpretation experiment]When I conducted an experiment and showed peoplefacial expressions, most people made mistakesin determining which facial expressionwent with which emotion.

    • 04:13

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: What we have here are five faces.And I've listed next to them five facial expressions.Your task is to determine which expressiongoes with which image.Now that you've had an opportunityto try to guess which facial expression goeswith which image, let me show you the answer to this problem.[Neutral, Happiness, Surprise, Anger, Disgust] Here,Assar identifies each of the facial expressions.

    • 04:38

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: Underneath each of these images, heshows you the psychological effortnecessary to create each of the facial expressions.[Studying facial expression]The world's leading authority on facial expressionis a psychologist named Paul Ekman,who used to teach at the University of Californiaat San Francisco.He went around the world looking at facial expressionand, on the basis of his research,determined that there are eight universal facial expressions.

    • 05:07

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: That is, these facial expressionsare found everywhere in the world.Aside from these facial expressions,there are countless others that arefound in this country, in that country, and so forth,but they're not universal.Now, Ekman claims that he has a video whichwill teach people how to identify facial expressions.So with a couple of hours of research,of watching one of his videos or taking his class or whateverit is, according to Ekman, you'llbe able to identify people's facial expressions correctly.

    • 05:37

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: Facial expressions are actually created by somethinglike 42 muscles in the face that activate or don'tactivate for each expression.And Ekman has developed ways of trying to determinewhen people are lying.And so when Khrushchev came to America once, a number of yearsago, the CIA or the FBI or whateverit is asked Ekman to study Khrushchev's faceand determine whether he was lying or not,because it turns out, when you lie,certain muscles in your face are not activated.

    • 06:07

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: Now, facial expression is very important in poker.When you play poker, great poker playersexamine your face very carefully,because what they're looking for are what are called tells.A tell is a telltale sign that indicates youhave a certain kind of hand.So when the poker player notices a tell on your face,he or she will probably decide not to put too much moremoney in that hand.

    • 06:36

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: So what poker players have to learn to dois to control their facial expressionso they don't provide any information to peoplethey are playing against.[Key points-- Visual culture, Complexities of vision,Visual interpretation, Visual interpretation experiment,Studying facial expression]In this tutorial on visual communication,I've discussed the complicated process of seeing.I've suggested that seeing isn't always believing,because frequently, what we see isn't really reality.

    • 07:01

      ARTHUR ASA BERGER [continued]: I've talked about how our eyes can be tricked.And I've talked about our change from beinga word-centered culture to an image-centered culture.[MUSIC PLAYING][SAGE video]

Visual Communication

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Abstract

Professor Arthur Asa Berger discusses visual communication, exploring the complexities of human vision, perception and facial recognition abilities.

SAGE Video Tutorials
Visual Communication

Professor Arthur Asa Berger discusses visual communication, exploring the complexities of human vision, perception and facial recognition abilities.

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