, Volume 29, Issue 2, pp 117–128 | Cite as

Processing information from screen media: A psycholinguistic approach

  • Farrel Corcoran


How do viewers derive meaning from sequenced images shown on a screen? The author attempted to determine whether methodologies employed in psycholinguistic investigation of sentence perception can be used to ascertain how screen media communicate. In the present study, techniques similar to those used to explore linguistic perception were not transferable to the examination of visual perception. However, the author believes that as researchers proceed to explore the area of screen literacy, the analogy with language will continue to be of heuristic value.


Symbol System Screen Medium Perceptual Unit Psychological Reality Phrase Boundary 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Abrams, K., & Bever, T. C. Syntactic structure modifies attention during speech perception and recognition.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1969,22, 280–290.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, J. R. Personal communication, February 3,1977.Google Scholar
  3. Berlyne, D. E.Conflict, arousal, curiosity. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1960.Google Scholar
  4. Berlyne, D. E.Structure and direction of thinking. New York: Wiley, 1965.Google Scholar
  5. Bever, T. G., Kirk, R., & Lackner, J. An autonomie reflection of syntactic structure.Neuropsychologia, 1969,5, 225–234.Google Scholar
  6. Brooks, L. R. The suppression of visualization by reading.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1967, 289–299.Google Scholar
  7. Brooks, L. R. Spatial and verbal components of the act of recall.Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1968,22, 349–368.Google Scholar
  8. Caplan, D. Clause boundaries and recognition of latencies for words in sentences.Perception and Psychophysics, 1972,22, 73–75.Google Scholar
  9. Chomsky, N.Aspects of the theory of syntax. Cambridge: M.I.T. Press, 1965.Google Scholar
  10. Colby, B. N. A partial grammar of Eskimo folktales.American Anthropologist, 1973,75, 645–661.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cooper, L. A., & Shepard, R. N. Chronometric studies of the rotation of mental images. In W. G. Chase (Ed.),Visual information processing. New York: Academic Press, 1973.Google Scholar
  12. Corcoran, F.Psychovidistics: A new direction for mass communication studies. Paper presented to the annual convention of the Speech Communication Association, San Francisco, 1976.Google Scholar
  13. Culler, J.Structuralist poetics. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1975.Google Scholar
  14. Dember, W. N., & Earl, R. W. Analysis of exploratory, manipulatory, and curiosity behavior.Psychological Review, 1957,64, 91–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eco, U.A theory of semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976.Google Scholar
  16. Fodor, J. A., & Bever, T. G. The psychological reality of linguistic segments,Journal of Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 1965,4, 414–420.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Games, P. A. Multiple comparisons of means.American Educational Research Journal, 1971,7, 531–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gardner, H. Piaget and Levi-Strauss: The search for mind.Social Research, 1970,37, 348–365.Google Scholar
  19. Gardner, H. The development of sensitivity to artistic styles.Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 1971,29, 515–628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gardner, H.The arts and human development. New York: Wiley, 1973.Google Scholar
  21. Gardner, H.The shattered mind. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1975.Google Scholar
  22. Gardner, H. Senses, symbols, operations: An organization of artistry. In Perkins & Leondar (Eds.),The arts and cognition. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1977.Google Scholar
  23. Gardner, H., Howard, V., & Perkins, D. Symbol systems: A philosophical, psychological and educational investigation. In D. R. Olson (Ed.),Media and symbols: The forms of experience, communication and education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  24. Garrett, M., Bever, T. G., & Fodor, J. A. The active use of grammar in speech perception.Perception & Psychophysics, 1966,1, 30–32.Google Scholar
  25. Guiraud, P.Semiology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1975.Google Scholar
  26. Holmes, V. M., & Foster, K. I. Detection of extraneous signals during sentence recognition.Perception & Psychophysics, 1970,7, 297–301.Google Scholar
  27. Innis, H.Empire and communication. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1950.Google Scholar
  28. Kosslyn, S. M. Scanning visual images: Some structural implications.Perception & Psychophysics, 1973,14, 90–94.Google Scholar
  29. Kosslyn, S. M. Information representation in visual images.Cognitive Psychology, 1975,7, 341–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lacan, J.The language of the self. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1968.Google Scholar
  31. Ladefoged, P., & Broadbent, D. E. Perception of sequence in auditory events.Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 1960,13, 162–170.Google Scholar
  32. Madsen, R. P.The impact of film: How ideas are communicated through cinema and television. New York: MacMillan, 1973.Google Scholar
  33. McLuhan, M.Gutenberg galaxy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962.Google Scholar
  34. McLuhan, M.Understanding media. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964.Google Scholar
  35. Metallinos, N. Composition of the TV picture: Some hypotheses to test the forces operating within the television screen.Educational Communication and Technology Journal, 1979,27, 205–214.Google Scholar
  36. Metzler, J., & Shepard, R. N. Transformational studies of the internal representation of three-dimensional objects. In R. L. Solso (Ed.),Theories in cognitive psychology. New York: Wiley, 1974.Google Scholar
  37. Nofsinger, R. E.Communicative competence: Reflections on a paradigm. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association, Chicago, 1972.Google Scholar
  38. Olson, D. R.Cognitive development. New York: Academic Press, 1970.Google Scholar
  39. Olson, D. R. (Ed.).Media and symbols: The forms of experience, communication and education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  40. Olson, D., & Bruner, J. Learning through experience and learning through media. In D. R. Olson, (Ed.),Media and symbols: The forms of experience, communication and education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  41. Palef, S. R., & Olson, DR. Spatial and verbal rivalry in a Stroop-like task.Canadian Journal of Psychology, 1975,29, 201–209.Google Scholar
  42. Peters, J. M. L.Teaching about film. New York: Columbia University Press, 1961.Google Scholar
  43. Propp, V.Morphology of the folktale. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1958.Google Scholar
  44. Pryluck, C. Structural analysis of motion pictures as a symbol system.AV Communication Review, 1968,16, 372–402.Google Scholar
  45. Pryluck, C.Sources of meaning in motion pictures and television. New York: Arno Press, 1976.Google Scholar
  46. Pryluck, C., & Snow, R. Towards a psycholinguistics of cinema.AV Communication Review, 1967,15, 54–75.Google Scholar
  47. Reber, A. S., & Anderson, J. R. The perception of clicks in linguistic and non-linguistic messages.Perception & Psychophysics, 1970,15, 81–89.Google Scholar
  48. Salomon, G. The specification of film attributes for psychological and educational research purposes.AV Communication Review, 1968,16, 225–245.Google Scholar
  49. Salomon, G. What does it do to Johnny?Viewpoints, 1970,46, 33–62.Google Scholar
  50. Salomon, G. Can we affect cognitive skills through visual media? An hypothesis and initial findings.AV Communication Review, 1972,20, 401–422.Google Scholar
  51. Salomon, G. What is learned and how it is taught: The interaction between media, message, task and learner. In D.R. Olson,Media and symbols: The forms of experience, communication and education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974, 383–405Google Scholar
  52. Salomon, G. On the future of media research: No more full acceleration in neutral gear.Educational Communication and Technology journal, 1978,16, 37–46.Google Scholar
  53. Salomon, G.Interaction of media, cognition and learning. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1979.Google Scholar
  54. Snow, R. E., & Salomon, G. Aptitudes and instructional media.AV Communication Review, 1968,26, 341–357.Google Scholar
  55. Spottiswoode, R.A grammar of the film: An analysis of film technique. London: Faber & Faber, 1935.Google Scholar
  56. Vitz, P. C. Preference for different amounts of visual complexity.Behavioral Science, 1966,11, 105–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Whorf, B.Language, thought and reality. New York: Wiley, 1956.Google Scholar
  58. Whitley, J. B., & Moore, D. M. Effects of perceptual type and presentation mode in a visual location task.Educational Communication and Technology Journal, 1979,27, 281–290.Google Scholar
  59. Winer, B.J. Statistical principles in experimental design. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1971.Google Scholar
  60. Worth, S. Film as non-art: An approach to the study of film.American Scholar, 1966,35, 322–334.Google Scholar
  61. Worth, S. The development of a semiotic of film.Semiotica, 1969,1, 282–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Worth, S. The uses of film in education and communication. In D. R. Olson (Ed.),Media and symbols: The forms of experience, communication and education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1974.Google Scholar
  63. Zettl, H.Sight, sound, motion: Applied media aesthetics. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth, 1973.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farrel Corcoran
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Speech CommunicationNorthern Illinois UniversityDekalb

Personalised recommendations