Pictures are remarkably sticky in our brains, aren’t they? It could be the image of “Lunch atop a Skyscraper,” “the Battle of Iwo Jima,” “Gandhi and the spinning wheel,” or even a super old class picture that you went to looking your best, only to close your eyes and bare your teeth at the unfortunately timed ‘Click.’
Picture superiority effect is a term that I heard only very recently. Simply put, it is a phenomenon in which pictures and images are more likely to be remembered than words.
We are no strangers to that little nugget of information, though, are we?
I distinctly remember and am immensely thankful for those one-page ‘infographics’ I learned a day before the exams only to purge myself of that information the following day on reams of paper.
I can likely provide a line-by-line account of scenes from a movie that I like. Written words, however, don’t come to my mind with such clarity and precision.
I blame it on my tiny brain; there is only so much information it can store and effectively retrieve. If I give preferential treatment to reams and reams of high-rated IMDB movie content, it’s only fair that that’s the first reference it returns when I search for information.
Why this rant, however?
Well, a TV series, of course!
I recently got hooked to Endeavour, a British TV series based on the famed Oxford detective, Endeavour Morse. Especially the latest rendition starring Shaun Evans as Morse and Roger Allam as Thursday.
There is a lot to love about this Oxford dropout detective – his sharp brain, refined taste in classical music, meticulous work, and the heap of extremely complicated cases with which he flexes his IQ.
I have been chided by my friends for obsessing over him. And you can see why.
I won’t ruin the show for you to do justice to it (if you ever decide to give it a go). There are so many of his one-liners and smiles that will floor you.
The most recent one that did me for a momentary distraction ogling at ‘lunch atop a skyscraper’.
The scene is of a police station:
Colleague: A picture speaks a thousand words.
Morse (casually, walking away with his back to his colleague): Depends on the words.