A new study measured people’s capacity to distinguish what’s fake from what’s real in terms of digital content. This time, it is not about fake news but doctored images. The Internet is filled with edited pictures that can fool people if they are not paying attentions. However, the findings of the study indicate that it is not so much about attention. People can’t seem to spot photoshopped scenes anymore.
Only 45% Managed to Locate the Edited Bits from a Fake Picture
Participants in the study went through a series of tests that involved imagery. Some of them were real, while others were manipulated in editing software such as the popular Adobe Photoshop. However, both these categories depicted real-life scenes with no over-fetched compositions such as superpowers.
First of all, people had to identify a series of images as being either real or fake. There were 60% of them who managed to tell the edited from the real ones. However, given that a study ran by chance would render 50% accuracy, people’s results were not so encouraging.
Moving on, participants were afterward asked to identify exactly the bits in their fake pictures that were altered. At this stage, only 45% located the Photoshopped scenes correctly. Sophie Nightingale is a doctoral candidate at the University of Warwick who is the author of this study. Her conclusion was that although people can handle this situation better than chance, they have not yet a trained eye to tell fiction from reality.
“This has serious implications because of the high level of images, and possibly fake images, that people are exposed to.”
The Capacity to Spot Photoshopped Scenes Is Crucial for People’s Online Activities
In today’s world, the human society became dependent on social platforms, media, and the Internet for both professional and personal reasons. Therefore, it is important to them to keep a reality check while staying connected to the online for such a long time.
On top of that, there are daily cases when users are outraged and invest feelings and energy for the morality of a picture. In the end, the source of online conflicts turns out to be a forgery.
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