Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Graphical Representations of a Television Series: A Study with Deaf and Hearing Adolescents

Academic journal article The Spanish Journal of Psychology

Graphical Representations of a Television Series: A Study with Deaf and Hearing Adolescents

Article excerpt

The understanding of a television story can be very different depending on the age of the viewer, their background knowledge, the content of the programme and the way in which they combine the information gathered from linguistic, audio and visual elements. This study explores the different ways of interpreting an audiovisual document considering that, due to a hearing impaired, visual, audio and linguistic information could be perceived very differently to the way it is by hearing people. The study involved the participation of 20 deaf and 20 hearing adolescents, aged 12 to 19 years who, after watching a fragment of a television series, were asked to draw a picture of what had happened in the story. The results show that the graphical representation of the film is similar for both groups in terms of the number of scenes, but there is greater profusion, in the deaf group, of details about the context and characters, and there are differences in their interpretations of some of the sequences in the story.

Keywords: deafness, adolescents, television, drawing.

La comprensión de una historia de la televisión puede ser muy diversa según la edad del espectador, sus conocimientos previos, el contenido del programa, y la manera como combina los elementos informativos lingüísticos, sonoros y la imagen visual. Este estudio explora las distintas maneras de interpretar un documento audiovisual considerando que, debido a un déficit auditivo, las informaciones visuales, sonoras y lingüísticas pueden ser percibidas de forma distinta a como lo hacemos los oyentes. En el estudio han participado 20 adolescentes sordos y 20 oyentes, de 12 a 19 años, a los que, tras visionar un fragmento de una seria televisiva, se les solicita que hagan un dibujo de lo que sucede en la historia. Los resultados indican que la representación gráfica del film es similar en ambos grupos en cuanto al número de escenas, pero difieren en la mayor profusión, en el grupo de adolescentes sordos, de detalles contextuales y de personajes, así como en la interpretación de alguna de las secuencias de la historia.

Palabras clave: sordera, adolescentes, televisión, dibujo.

Watching stories on the television is not only an entertainment, but also a way of learning, recognising and experiencing new or known situations from the past or present, and also of experiencing certain feelings and emotions. The ability to understand television depends on the age of the viewer and the content of the programme, and on prior knowledge and experiences.

Watching a TV film may have several effects, such as the acquisition of new knowledge, the experience of personal situations, etc. The formal elements of an audiovisual document, such as for instance the camera angles and shots, the background music, the sound effects, the visual techniques, etc., although providing the viewer with a considerable amount of information, can increase the complexity of the message and hinder its understanding (Collins, 1983). When viewers are very young, according to Calvet (1999), the sound and visual effects are what attracts their attention most and enhances their ability to remember the contents and its representation. There is evidence that children remember more action than dialogue (Calvet, 1999). In some way, the images help them to understand language better. In contrast, as the age of the viewers increases, they can distance themselves from the purely perceptual characteristics and effects, and respond more to the content (Torres, Conde, & Ruiz, 2002).

When there is a hearing loss, the perception of the sounds may be insufficient or be distorted, as may that of the oral language, not only because of the difficulties of reception but also of understanding this, in the case in which there is delayed language development. Deaf people also present differences compared to hearing people with regard to visual attention. In this sense, neurological studies performed coincide in demonstrating that deaf people pay more attention to the peripheral information in the visual field than do hearing people. …

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