Why Do We Love Images So Much?
The short answer: We are very visual creatures. Here's a few reasons how and why:
A large percentage of the human brain dedicates itself to visual processing
We process images at an alarming speed. 1.8 minutes per question
Our love of images lies with our cognition and ability to pay attention
Images are able to grab our attention easily, we are immediately drawn to them
Bright colors capture our attention because our brains are wired to react to them
Our vision senses are by far our most active of the senses. This may be thanks to our evolution. Quick processing of visual information would have saved our ancestors from the attack of a predator, identifying a dangerous weather pattern, or during a hunt for food. A hunter-gatherer would need to be able to identify certain shades of red berries during their forage and differentiate the poisonous and non-poisonous species of mushrooms. These primitive behaviors come into play even now in our everyday lives. We are all a product of our history and our brain is always looking for a shortcut to process valuable information.
Flash forward to Law School ... and how do images help educate? In a world where we are bombarded by huge amounts of information from lectures, textbooks and outlines, we will need the simple memorizable, bullet-point black letter law principles at our fingertips to be successful on exams. And fast. 1.8 minutes per MBE question FAST. With that time pressure, it takes a lot longer to remember a long legal paragraph or court case than to analyze a visual image (and memorize a mnemonic!).
What's more, many of us are visual learners, who memorize content more effectively if it happens to be image-based. I know I am one of those learners.
This is one of the reasons I spent some of my free time creating law school flashcards with images!