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Vivid descriptions of faces 'don't have to go into detail'
Date:10/21/2011

suggesting that piece by piece descriptions of a face may not be the ideal way to communicate face information in words.

"However, a writer's description might produce a vivid response with only a partial description if it is also holistic, or draws on emotional qualities of the face."

One of the descriptions examined was of Bill Sikes, the character in Dickens' Oliver Twist, whose black eye is said to have "displayed various parti-coloured symptoms of having been recently damaged by a blow." The researchers suggested that this description could be more vivid than one which was more precise about the discolouration.

The researchers' theory defined 'vividness' in several ways, including: something belonging to a stimulus, such as a piece of text; an emotional experience produced by such a stimulus, or how realistic the mental images produced by text are.


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