Are you a visual learner?
A picture paints a thousand words. Many people take in information better with a pictorial representation or it can just make things really clear or... just be funny. Below are some I've collated, mainly having come across them via Twitter
I thought there was some merit in these pictures of how people in science see each other. It especially made me laugh how the different groups are portrayed as seeing themselves!
When you are doing your doctorate (but this applies to any research project, I believe!), it can be hard to keep a sense of perspective as shown in The Illustrated Guide to a PhD. by Matt Might.
Slightly less directly relevant, but the process it takes you through does highlight what a difference a smallish change (and some lateral thinking or trial and error) can make to the clarity of a visual: the crayola rainbow
I'm afraid there is even less justification for this one, but I love it and thought I'd share it with you: A photograph that looks like a painting.
>>...these pictures of how people in science see each other...
Yes, that one made the rounds on Facebook not so long ago, but it still made me smile when I looked at it again.
I know it's not quite visual, but somewhat descriptive and similarly tongue-in-cheek is a recent post on the "Top 10 worst things about working in the lab".
The other three links you posted were fun, too, I particularly liked the illustrated guide to PhD.
I am guessing most of us on here have come across the PHD comics series many times before - often they're very very true!
Thanks Tennie, though - as a decidely non-visual learner - some of this passes me by.
We have a great research team for one project which involves a mathematician alongside several social scientists. He produces beautiful network diagrams which the rest of us marvel at, and pretend to understand what they might mean, if not how they were produced. We then write copious research reports and literature reviews which he brushes aside with a comment like 'I can't handle so many words!'
Maybe Matushiq's next project could be to produce a matrix showing how researchers from different disciplines see each other!
Thanks, Tennie, these were fun! I'm not sure that I'm a visual learner - I do love my books - but I think I might be a visual thinker: when I'm analysing data I tend to need to map it out on a sheet of paper to make it make sense. And I think I might be a kinetic learner, if there's such a thing - I was teaching the other day and realised that if you tied my hands I'd be incapable of explaining anything. Maybe you need another category for that? And some 3D moving diagrams?
Hi Sarah, do you mean kinesthetic learning? It's been my daughters' excuse for fidgetting ever since they found out about it aged about 7..... If kinesethic is about learning moves I am most definitely not- as evidenced in my relatively newly started aerobics class, where I enthusiastically do all the wrong moves at the wrong times to routines we've been doing for weeks... I learn through words as well as visuals, but am decidedly number dislexic as well as clumsy (which wasn't great for lab-based hard science, really).
I think that Simon picked up on the different approaches to learning and understanding in the natural sciences and the social sciences/arts:
>>We have a great research team for one project which involves a mathematician alongside several social scientists. He produces beautiful network diagrams which the rest of us marvel at, and pretend to understand what they might mean, if not how they were produced. We then write copious research reports and literature reviews which he brushes aside with a comment like 'I can't handle so many words!'
When writing essays during my biochemistry undergraduate degree, we were positively encouraged to use diagrams to explain things that would need many words to describe (and probably not be anywehre near as clear in text). Other sensible devices in essay writing we were encouraged to use was the use of sub-headings, bulleted lists (as long as they're in full sentences), and similar approaches, all of which help to break up large chunks of solid text into more manageable and readable sections.
In stark contrast, when doing my English Literature A-level, the essays always had to be written as one long argument, no bulleting and no sub-headings, which would probably be penalised. Apparently they break up the flow of the argument but I'm not convinced, I think they (sub-headings) may make the argument clearer and easier to follow.
Isn't it likely that a lot of natural scientists/mathematicians/computer scientists are likely to be keener on visualisation of information, whereas the people closer to the arts/humanities/etc. might prefer their long chunks of text?
I love the picture of the tree. And I love that it's a photo, not a painting. Thanks for sharing this! I found out at a staff development meeting a couple of years ago that I was a kinesthetic learner. Which is weird because I'm not a very good mover and I'm rather clumsy too. But I find it hard to either visualise or explain certain things in words, and I can only get somethings right by actually doing them. I've no idea how common this is for people working in the humanities, and it certainly hadn't impiged on my consciousness until I did the tests, so I don't suppose it makes a huge deal of difference. One thing I've recently found out about myself is that I find it easier to read while on the treadmill. Post on that to follow!