Excess Noise Knowledge Base

Definitions for those who work in communications and perception

Image

The ‘creative’ image

As regards the creative arts, an image is a relatively straightforward concept. It is usually a two-dimensional rendition of a real or abstract vision. It can be a photograph, an illustration, a computer-generated image or graphic…

One’s image

Then there is the more personal definition of image: ‘my image’. This is a far more complex concept. It has been dissected for years. It can mean one’s own interpretation of one’s own being or state. It can also mean what we believe others to see in us. Usually, these two are fused into a single, subjective interpretation. We tend to see ourselves not for who we really are but for who we believe others see.

The current debate gravitates around whether an ‘image’ can be objectively or quantifiably analyzed. Is there such a thing as ‘improving’ one’s image. If there is, then de facto there is a quantifiable attribute, there is a scale. Whether that scale be in the form of an integer or a qualifier, the scale remains.

What does image pertain to? Is it character, is it aesthetic, is it accomplishment or is it stature? Is it all of them and more? Both surveys and studies show that people are evenly split between the singular imagery people and the complex imagery ones. In the simple case, we tend to focus on just one aspect of our being. This happens most often when there really is a problem. There tends to be more accuracy in the single scenarios. A stereotypical example is weight. Though some worry about weight all the time, chances are that you worry about your weight image more when you do have a weight problem, as slight as it may be.

Complex image types are those who are constantly looking at multiple facets of their being and worrying about what people ‘think’ of them. These worries tend to be less accurate. People who worry about their complete image, are generally obsessed by external opinion. They are constantly at odds with themselves.

Fixing a complex image syndrome is far more complicated than most would have you believe, and far simpler than you would think. Let us explain. The problem is not actually changing anything inasmuch as external image is almost always better than one’s own image of oneself. The problem, or challenge, is to simply accept this and such a psychological long jump is no easy task.

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This glossary of definitions is not intended as an academic reference. It is an exercise in thinking on our part. We hope to grow it and welcome any suggestions you may have.