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Cartoon pictures as good for memory as real photos?

I'm feeling like the cartoon pictures carry much less information and help me less with memory than actual photos. Anyone have some research on this? I'm betting we make more meaningful personal associations with real photos than with the simple cartoons ... and therefore real photos are more helpful for learning.

December 26, 2015



Very true.

I think it's because real picture is more emotionally attached to a person's memory. Just like the "drop wallet" case, i once read there are more chance of people returning your wallet if you have a real picture of yourself inside the wallet.

beside cartoon picture (sometimes) also easy to forget since they don't really represent the person behind. Example: there are maybe 2 or more person choosing same cartoon character for a profile picture, this can caused a bias memory too.

Well... I do not use real pic bcs of some reasons xD


I think it depends on the learner. Pictures can be distracting too. For me it doesn't matter if it's a cartoon or a picture, just as long as I choose it myself. Like ClifftoY mentioned, it's down to emotional attachement. If you're looking for research, I recommend Gabriel Wyner's book and website https://fluent-forever.com I'm reading the book now and already learned a lot about language learning-new-style.


Tack så mycket, Jorinde12


Du är välkommen!


Actually, I joined Duolingo two years ago, did it consistently for a while, stopped doing it, and then came back to it recently. The cartoons are new to me.

At first, I thought the cartoons were fun or cute, but now I find them a bit of a nuisance, as none of them match what is being said. For example, feminine forms in Spanish are used when the speaker is a male and vice versa. Or the mood is off. The phrase is expressing something unpleasant, for example, and the cartoon is all smiles.


Right - then they aren't even neutral, but in fact misleading. In all the language trees I did, I remember only one actual picture that really mislead me - "skin" - I think there was a picture of hand or something close up. The cartoons look good, and I'm sure serve some good purposes, but I'm still unsure whether they serve the purpose of language learning memory very well.


I'm currently working my way through the Swedish tree. Only pictures are used there, not always the same picture for the same word, which confused me at first. I don't see duolingo as a flashcard-system, so I try to see the pictures as a way of intuitive language learning, not memorizing. (Like I would come across the word/thing when in Sweden) For difficult words, I use a flashcard-system like memrise or hardcopy. The French tree uses cartoons, but I didn't start with the beginning as I am already higher intermediate, so don't have experience with the cartoons for new words. I think using pictures or cartoons can't be standard for every learner.


OF course, can't be standard. Looking for research on what might be, if a system like Duolingo is choosing cartoon over photo, best on average for learners. Och nu måste jag gå och prata svenska / engelska för att lära mig mer ...

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