EDS 103, Mod5, Think

Visual and Verbal Cues Increases Cognition

photo taken from: psychologeyes.com

According to Allan Pavio there are two subsystems, one that deals with language (verbal-linguistic) and the other is specialized in processing and representation of imagery or non-verbal objects/events (visual-spatial.)


The dual coding theory proposed by Paivio attempts to give equal weight to verbal and non-verbal processing. Paivio (1986) states: “Human cognition is unique in that it has become specialized for dealing simultaneously with language and with nonverbal objects and events. Moreover, the language system is peculiar in that it deals directly with linguistic input and output (in the form of speech or writing) while at the same time serving a symbolic function with respect to nonverbal objects, events, and behaviors. Any representational theory must accommodate this dual functionality.” (p 53).


Types of Dual Coding Theory

Dual Coding theory identified three types of processing: (1) representational, the direct activation of verbal or non-verbal representations, (2) referential, the activation of the verbal system by the nonverbal system or vice-versa, and (3) associative processing, the activation of representations within the same verbal or nonverbal system. A given task may require any or all of the three kinds of processing.

Implications in Classroom Learning

Dual coding theory has been applied to many cognitive phenomena including mnemonics, problem-solving, concept learning and language. Dual coding theory accounts for the significance of spatial abilities in theories of intelligence (e.g., Guilford). Paivio (1986) provides a dual coding explanation of bilingual processing. Clark & Paivio (1991) present dual coding theory as a general framework for educational psychology.

Our cognition is a complex process that is capable of dealing simultaneously with language (verbal associations) input and nonverbal objects and events (visual imagery). According to the theory, our language system deals directly with linguistic input and output while it uses symbolic imagery to accommodate behavior and event. Hence it is equipped with a dual functionality.

Learning strategies, such as retrieval practice and dual coding, provide our students tools to increase cognition and retention of information (lesson).  This normally would result to deeper understanding which equals to happier students that produces higher grades. Which, eventually lead to having students more likely to study more.


An Example

Take this as an example, you want your students to understand the different regions of the Philippines. Knowing about the dual coding theory provides you with the knowledge that using images will help your students sort the information in visual representations. The visual cues you are presenting them will likely creates a verbal association or label. What happens is that the students store the concept of the different regions as images and verbal cues. This increases the chance that when the student later tries to recall the information it will either appear as the image or word, also could appear individually or together. The chance of remembering the information is enhanced thus, resulting to a more effective learning.








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