Words .v. Pictures for elicitation-initial findings....

Wed, 16 Dec 1998 15:55:04 +0000

Dear All

Some moons ago many of you kindly replied to my request for information on
the difference between using words or pictures of building materials - a
belated thank you very much for your help!

I just wanted to share what I've found out so far to repay your generosity.

I have now carrried out a pilot study using 7 words and 7 pictures of the same
type of building materials: stone, straw, earth, wood, metal , concrete and
plastic with some v.interesting results:

1. Both gave no problems with construct elicitation.
2. People struggled with the pictures -often referring to the
context or building rather than the material itself. In fact they were often
unsure what the material was. The words alllowed them to form their own
ideas of the material.
3. I got 100% more "touchy-feely" responses by using pictures
than words.

On balance, I think I am going to run with using words because they seem less
"loaded" than pictures for construct elicitation. It was fascinating to ask
what was in people's minds afterwards when thinking about the material.
Plastic= 1960's chairs!!!
STone= dry stone walls
Miles away from the building images I'd put up and much more revealing.

I'd be keen to hear from anyone who wants to chip in on the "words .v.
pictures" issue as it is developing for me...

Best wishes

Fionn Stevenson
Fionn Stevenson
Ecological Design Group (EDG)
The Scott Sutherland School of Architecture
The Robert Gordon University
Garthdee Road
Aberdeen AB10 7QB

Tel: ++ 44 (0) 1224 263713
Fax: ++ 44 (0) 1224 263535
e-mail <f.stevenson@rgu.ac.uk>