Allan Paivio’s dual-code theory hypothesizes that both visual and verbal information is used to represent information. For example, Paivio proposed that when we hear a sentence, we develop an image in our mind of what the sentence is describing. By doing so, later on if we remember the visual image and not the actual sentence, we will at least remember what the sentence was about but maybe not the exact words. Likewise, when we look at a picture, we describe the features that stand out to us in the image and later on when we remember our descriptions and not the picture, we will only remember the important details that we remembered to include in our description. There are various experiments which have concluded that when participants pay attention to wording, they show better memory performance. In 1998, Holmes, Waters and Rajaram performed a study which asked participants to count the number of letters in the last word of each sentence. This task increased the participants’ attention to the wording of the sentence, causing an increased ability to differentiate between the sentences that they had previously studied, and the sentences with similar meaning that they had never seen before. For example, they had participants study one of two following sentences:
1. The lieutenant wrote his signature on the check
2. The lieutenant forged a signature on the check
After waiting for some time, Holmes, Waters and Rajaram re-approached the participants and asked them which sentence was the one that they had studied. They were more successful distinguishing between the two sentences that were given to them above, compared to a pair of sentences such as:
1. The lieutenant enraged his superior in the barracks
2. The lieutenant infuriated a superior in the barracks
The reason behind this finding seems to be that in the first set of sentences, there is a huge difference in the meaning compared to the second set. When Holmes,Waters and Rajaram performed the experiment they were able to conclude that people remember meaning distinctions that do not have perceptual differences. The distinction between signing a signature and forging is not in about the physical action the person does but rather their intentions and the relationship between those intentions. This ties back to the idea that when people hear a sentence or a word, they develop an image in their mind of what the word or sentence is describing, as a way to remember it.
In the episode of Charades with Scarlett Johansson and Drake on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, there is an evident connection between the dual-code theory and what is happening throughout the scene. Scarlett Johansson is chosen to physically act out a three letter word, “ The Walking Dead” while Tariq is given the task of guessing what the 3…