How Does a Photo Influence Perceived Veracity of a Statement?

When a photo is added along with a statement, it tends to make a person more likely to believe the statement to be true. Research has found that when study participants are given a photo statement, they are more likely to believe the statement than when it is printed alone. This is thought to be the result of fluency, which means that the brain is more able to recall things if there are more items — such as pictures — associated with it. The more fluent an item, the more likely the brain might be to recall it and thus judge it as being true.

More about truth:

  • "Truthiness," a word coined by American comedian Stephen Colbert that means the intuitive feeling of truth without necessarily having evidence, was Merriam-Webster's word of the year in 2006.

  • When a person has been in a relationship for an extended period of time, he or she is more likely to use the part of the brain responsible for habitual decisions and thus more likely to quickly believe his or her partner.
  • People typically do not perceive strangers as being truthful. In one study, half of the people believed that a fellow participant would help them as promised, when the actual number was closer to 80%.
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