Thursday, October 4, 2007

What Are Pictures Worth?

Anne Reed, at Deliberations, wrote about pictures and their affect upon perceived credibility. She commented about a recent study:
"The mere presence of a picture of a brain, in an article about cognitive processes, makes us more likely to believe what we're reading -- even though most of us have no ability to understand the picture."
Her article was fascinating. The study showed a technical article about the brain, that included photographs, was perceived to be more credible and better written. She made this recommendation to lawyers:
"At one level, the message for lawyers here is clear: use pictures, and not just any pictures. Pictures may be most powerful when they represent what you're talking about as directly and concretely as possible."
I'd been toying with this same idea for some time. At a recent legal seminar a speaker showed us how he started using pictures during jury selection to help train the jury to understand legal concepts and others issues involved in his case. During my last jury trial I experimented with the photograph above, depicting a mentally ill patient, to help get the jury thinking the way I was thinking. It got them talking, at least.

This is such an interesting topic, I hope we hear more about it.

No comments: