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I'm always way off picturing what someone looks like

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Pats, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You know how all these aspie quizzes asks if you can picture what someone looks like when you're reading? I'm taking it as to mean the book has described the person and can you picture it by the description?
    When a movie comes out about a book, I've heard so many people say the people in the movie are just like they pictured them. Not me - I'm always so far off I'm wondering 'what did I read?'
    I do have a picture in back of my mind of people I've not met - like you guys, for instance. Of course I'm always way off. I remember seeing @Autistamatic 's first video thinking nothing like I pictured.
    I guess I always did that with music groups, too. One of the reasons I never liked watching music videos - ruins it for me. :)
    How accurate are you when picturing someone you've never seen?
     
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  2. Wolf Prince

    Wolf Prince My future job title.

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    Its fuzzy for me. If its a book pretty easy. But actual people is fuzzy or a blank.
    By the way i image you have a lot of fun picturing me. :p
     
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  3. NothingToSeeHere

    NothingToSeeHere Asexuowl V.I.P Member

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    I picture characters in books very clearly, but no my mental image never looks much like the character in film/tv adaptions, because they cast actors based on their acting ability and fit for the role not their physical resemblance to the character description in the book, and I do not have the ability to predict the future.

    A popular example of this is the Harry Potter films. The only real description of Harry we have is that his hair was messy, a lightening bolt scar in the middle of his forehead, and that he had green eyes, which was actually a key plot point. Harry in the film? Not so messy hair, scar oddly off to one side, and blue eyes. No sign of Hermione's famous buck teeth either. Meanwhile in the Hobbit Kili was supposed to be blond and Thorin was supposed to have a beard long enough to tuck into his belt.
     
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  4. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I have no visualization memory. I can't hold pictures in my head.

    When I read, I don't even try to picture the character, unless something about their looks is germane to the plot (like they're really tall so they can reach something high up, or they're overweight and that figures into the story). I will read descriptions like "she had an olive complexion, a triangular face framed by her bangs, and high cheekbones" ... and all I got in my head is a stick figure, maybe with a triangle instead of a circle for a head.

    I could stare at a person for 5 minutes and if I don't make a mental note that they have glasses, earrings, or a mustache, I won't be able to describe that detail when I close my eyes.

    ... So I'm never surprised to find out what anyone looks like, because I have no expectations.
     
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  5. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Not very accurate. I can't really picture what people look like in books from their description, unless the character is also in a movie like Harry Potter or is depicted on the cover of the book. It's very vague/hazy.
     
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  6. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

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    I'm so far off that I often contradict facts stated in the book, such as hair color! :eek:
     
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  7. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    Doesnt even occur to me. Like, those on the forums here, right. I have no images of anyone here unless I've seen a photo, which for the most part, I havent. And I wont conjure one up at any point. What I notice is the profile image, and if that changes for someone, I might lose track of who it is.

    In books, I get incredibly vivid images of most things... except character descriptions. I grasp their personalities and traits or whatever, but their actual looks are barely even there.

    Now, animals on the other hand are a whole other story. I can vividly imagine details of dogs or cats. Likely, this is because they are not hyper-boring like most people are. That is my going theory. Describe some jerk to me and if you were asking me to make a sculpture of them based on said description, I'd do something like make a figure out of some toothpicks and glue a smiley-face onto it, and my interest ends there. Ask me to do one of a dog and I'll obsess over every detail for the next month until it is utterly perfect, made of the finest materials.

    Well, I mean, if I knew how to make a sculpture, that is.
     
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  8. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I still recall when I applied for a local police department position with a lengthy exam. Where at the beginning they show you a suspect's picture. Then they remove it, and hours later at the end of the exam you're quizzed about what the suspect looked like.

    I didn't do so good on that particular question...:eek:
     
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  9. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    Oooof. That hits close to home.
     
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  10. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I would never have been able to do that one either. I hope I never am needed to help identify a suspect. I might get male/female correct - maybe.
     
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  11. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Up to that point in time in my life, I never gave any thought to such a thing as a skill set. Go figure. :oops:
     
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  12. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member It's My Birthday!

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    It's hit or miss for me as well.
     
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  13. rubicks52

    rubicks52 Member

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    I never remember character descriptions in books, and I have basically no mental image of what I think the character looks like. It carries over to my writing as well, and I have to consciously force myself to write character descriptions. But even then, I don't have a clear idea of what my own characters look like.
     
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  14. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    The best part of reading books is using my imagination. One of the few TV shows that is consistent with my imagination of how someone looks and acts is David Suchet acting as Agatha Christie's Poirot. He nails it in my imagination.

    About the police department test - I think virtually everyone lacks explicit total recall of facial features of someone they glimpsed only briefly back in time. Eye witness testimony in the courtroom is notoriously unreliable and there are many studies and experiments that address the reasons for it. It's how our minds work (or don't work, as the case may be) and is usually totally innocent and involuntary.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  15. Judge

    Judge Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    Good point. Perhaps the exercise was really to isolate the very few applicants who might have such a superior skill of recall. Another way to pad extra points in evaluating their performance beyond the written and physical ability tests.

    Just as well though. In hindsight I don't think that was a job I really wanted to do in the long term. Though I have met a very few police officers that I might have categorized as "trained observers". I suppose how good their skills were going in versus the hardcore experience they accrue over time is anyone's guess.
     
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  16. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

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    I've thought about that situation a lot. I can imagine myself saying, "I don't remember what he looked like, but his license plate was really interesting..."
     
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  17. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    You're better at being the Judge than a rookie cop watching for shoplifters so all turned out well!
     
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  18. tlc

    tlc The Mackinac Bridge and U.P. is my happy place.

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    I wouldn't either. Wish it was reason enough to get me out of jury duty. I sure would hate to put the wrong person away.

    Original question, I don't know. My mind doesn't create images or much of anything from fiction books anymore. I just flat out don't understand them. I can't even understand movies half the time when the plot and characters are laid out right in front of me, I just get lost with most of them.

    People in forums, I'm often way off. Except for some times when the person creates a screenname based on what they look like. For example one person called herself Blondie and I imagined someone who looked like Debbie Harry. Yep upon meeting her that's why she chose that name.

    But other times even when people post pictures of themself, they still look like a different person in real life. Happens a lot.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019
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  19. Aspychata

    Aspychata But this is my happy face.....

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    l talked to someone for almost 2 years. l had no idea and couldn't come up with a visualization. But l was so mesmerized by the voice, it didn't matter. When l finally met the voice, l was then completely mesmerized in a great way.
     
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  20. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I have poor facial recognition/recall too - prosopagnosia.
     
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