Doctoral Dissertation
University of Oregon


Advisor Freyd, Jennifer J.

Dissertation Abstract

This research examined the effects of motion expectations on memory for static pictures. The central hypothesis was that as implied motion for a picture increases, memory distortions will also increase in the direction of implied motion. A secondary hypothesis predicted that people will find pictures with increased implied motion more interesting than pictures with less implied motion.

Experiment 1 established a methodology for measuring memory distortion in art images. Performance on a "same-different" recognition task measured specific memory distortions for three pictures. In experiment 2, implied motion was varied by using combinations of pictorial devices that imply motion (action lines, posture, orientation, and multiple images). Memory distortion was tested using the methodology established in experiment 1. Participants also rated the amount of implied motion in each picture and level of interest for each picture. Results showed that the more motion devices were contained in a picture, the more memory was distorted in the direction of motion. In addition, as the number of motion devices increased, the amount of motion and interest rated for the pictures increased. Interest and motion ratings were positively correlated. However, neither motion nor interest ratings were significantly related to performance on the memory distortion task using a correlational analysis across individual pictures.

Experiment 3 used a new set of line drawings of the human body. This set contained more realistic figures, fading action lines and fading multiple images. Participants found this set of pictures more interesting than the previous experiment, but there were no overall differences in motion ratings and memory distortions. However, for particular pictures, differences were found. Thus we can conclude that not all motion devices are alike, and depending on the way they are produced, they can influence perception and memory.

Overall, the results supported the hypothesis that as implied motion increases, memory distortions increase in pictures. Results also provided some evidence that the amount of implied motion in a picture may affect a person's level of interest for the picture. These findings contribute to the growing body of knowledge that expectations about motion affect basic perception and representation of visual pictures.

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