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Type: Thesis
Title: Individual Differences in the Evaluation of Online Images
Author: Rogers, Elizabeth
Issue Date: 2020
School/Discipline: School of Psychology
Abstract: The internet has facilitated the proliferation of misleading and conspiratorial content that has led to increasing distrust in government and other major institutions. Although such content is often textual (e.g. misleading accounts of major events), it is also often accompanied by out-of-context or doctored images that support particular views. Despite many studies into conspiracy theory (CT) beliefs, relatively little psychological research has been conducted to examine whether certain people are more, or less, susceptible to visual manipulations in online environments. This study examined individual differences in the perception of image credibility and how this relates to pre-existing CT beliefs. The study involved participants assigning credibility ratings to images in a 2 fake/real x 2 CT/non-CT related design. A total of 329 online participants were presented with original or highly edited images of real-world scenes: half were CT-related and the other half were not. Performance was measured by the difference between credibility ratings assigned to real vs manipulated images. Consistent with study predictions, individuals with high conspiracy beliefs performed significantly worse in discriminating between fake and real images. This effect was stronger when images depicted CT related content. This research contributes to the limited research related to online visual deception by showing how people who have stronger CT beliefs find it harder to discriminate real from manipulated content.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (B.PsychSc(Hons)) -- University of Adelaide, School of Psychology, 2020
Keywords: Honours; Psychology
Description: This item is only available electronically.
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the author of this thesis and do not wish it to be made publicly available, or you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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