Processing visual rhetoric in advertisements: Interpretations determined by verbal anchoring and visual complexity

  • Lagerwerf, L. (Speaker)
  • C.M.J. van Hooijdonk (Speaker)
  • A. Korenberg (Speaker)

    Activity: Lecture / PresentationAcademic


    This research investigated meaning operation in relation to verbal anchoring and visual structure of visual rhetoric in advertisements. The type of meaning operation between two pictorial elements determines the number of alternative responses an image elicits. Meaning operation ‘connection’ is supposed to elicit less alternative responses than ‘similarity’. In a first study, connection was affected by verbal anchoring for comprehension, but similarity was not. In a second study eye tracking measures were used to study meaning operation in combination with visual structure (juxtaposition and fusion). Similarity led to more text-image transitions and image’s viewing durations than connection. Interactions on transitions and perceived number of ideas suggest that fusion promotes alternative responses in connection, but not in similarity. Apparently, connections leave interpretations more ‘open’ than similarities, whereas similarities are more ambiguous (or ‘rich’).
    Period26 May 2012
    Event titleInternational Communication Association Annual Congress
    Event typeConference