Why Our Brains Want Symbols to Phrases


Abstract: Analysis reveals symbols are extra memorable than phrases. This novel research dives into our mind’s knack for recalling graphic symbols and logos over their phrase counterparts. Symbols, providing visible anchors for summary concepts, outperform phrases in reminiscence checks. This understanding might revolutionize visible communication and design.

Key Details:

  1. The analysis performed by the College of Waterloo confirmed that symbols are extra simply remembered than phrases with the identical that means.
  2. Symbols present concrete visuals for summary ideas, making them extra memorable.
  3. The distinctiveness and singularity of symbols over phrases, which may have a number of meanings, improve their memorability.

Supply: College of Waterloo

On a regular basis symbols like &?!#@$ are extremely memorable, in line with new analysis.

The brand new research led by the College of Waterloo aimed to research how properly symbols are remembered in comparison with phrases with the identical that means. 

“Our work is ground-breaking because it highlights how people bear in mind graphic symbols and logos,” stated Myra Fernandes, co-author and professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at Waterloo.

“Symbols are significantly helpful as they can be utilized as logos in promoting, in addition to supply a quicker technique of communication via emojis. Our research inspecting reminiscence for symbols supply perception into methods to maximise retention and refine communication.”

Throughout 5 research, the researchers surveyed over 1100 adults to look at the position of symbols in reminiscence. Within the research, members had been introduced with both an emblem or its phrase counterpart, e.g., ‘$’ or ‘greenback’, and examined on what number of symbols or phrases they may bear in mind. 

In all research, the researchers discovered that members had been in a position to memorize symbols higher than phrases with the identical that means. 

“Symbols may be extra simply remembered as a result of they provide concrete visuals to summary concepts,” stated Brady Roberts, lead creator and PhD candidate in Cognitive Neuroscience.

“Once we take into consideration summary ideas, like love, it may be troublesome to visualise clearly. However with symbols, we are able to use a form of picture that represents the idea – like a coronary heart for love – which makes the summary thought extra concrete and due to this fact simpler to recollect.” 

Roberts provides that symbols may additionally be simpler to recollect as a result of they’re distinctive and have a tendency to characterize a single idea, whereas phrases can have a number of meanings. Think about the play image [▷].

It solely has one that means: to begin a bit of media. However its phrase counterpart ‘play’ has many different meanings, equivalent to a recreation or theatrical efficiency, and there are various synonyms for the phrase, equivalent to start, start, and begin.

The authors hope that their work will assist in the way forward for visible design to assist plainly talk difficult or summary concepts. 

About this language analysis information

Writer: Ryon Jones
Supply: College of Waterloo
Contact: Ryon Jones – College of Waterloo
Picture: The picture is credited to Neuroscience Information

Unique Analysis: Open entry.
Image superiority: Why $ is healthier remembered than ‘greenback’” by Myra Fernandes et al. Cognition


Image superiority: Why $ is healthier remembered than ‘greenback’

Reminiscence usually is healthier for data introduced in image format than in phrase format. Twin-coding concept (Paivio, 1969) proposes that it is because footage are spontaneously labelled, resulting in the creation of two representational codes—picture and verbal—whereas phrases typically result in solely a single (verbal) code.

With this angle as motivation, the current investigation requested whether or not frequent graphic symbols (e.g.,!@#$%&) are afforded primarily verbal coding, akin to phrases, or whether or not in addition they invoke visible imagery, as do footage. Throughout 4 experiments, members had been introduced at research with graphic symbols or phrases (e.g., $ or ‘greenback’).

In Experiment 1, reminiscence was assessed utilizing free recall; in Experiment 2, reminiscence was assessed utilizing old-new recognition. In Experiment 3, the phrase set was restricted to a single class. In Experiment 4, reminiscence for graphic symbols, footage, and phrases was instantly in contrast.

All 4 experiments demonstrated a reminiscence profit for symbols relative to phrases. In a fifth experiment, machine studying estimations of inherent stimulus memorability had been discovered to foretell reminiscence efficiency within the earlier experiments.

This research is the primary to current proof that, like footage, graphic symbols are higher remembered than phrases, consistent with dual-coding concept and with a distinctiveness account. We purpose that symbols supply a visible referent for summary ideas which might be in any other case unlikely to be spontaneously imaged.


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