Re: recognition of photos -The old "I vaguely remember" ploy

Matthew Hill (mhhill@WATARTS.UWATERLOO.CA)
Tue, 25 Jul 1995 08:43:01 -0400

The question whether unsophisticated peoples recognize photographs
(or for that matter other forms of 'realistic representation' has
long been a matter of dispute. Unfortunately, I have lost the
reference to what seemed to me to be a very important article
on the subject published quite some time ago by a social psychologist
(whose name naturally I do not recall). To the best of my
recollection it was based on a study in New Guinea, in which line
drawings of familiar objects- local style houses as I recall- were used.
The conclusion which seemed convincing to me was that drawing was
an invention the conventions (even of 'realism') of which had to be
learned and not all cultures had it. Anyone out there recall
such a paper - from the 60's or early 70's probably?

Matthew Hill (
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