Photos play tricks with judgement, memory: Study
Photos play tricks with judgement, memory: Study. A pretty picture can change our thoughts about the world and more likely to believe that certain claims are true, according to a new study.
A pretty picture can change our thoughts about the world and more likely to believe that certain claims are true, according to a new study. Researchers from the Victoria University in New Zealand found that a photo could even change someone's perceived quality of wine.
"People who participated in these experiments saw a number of fictitious, unfamiliar wine names, like 'Yellow Rick.' A rick is another word for a haystack, but many people don't know that," Xinhua quoted psychology researcher Brittany Cardwell as saying in a statement. When the wine names appeared with decorative photos, such as an image of a haystack, people were far more likely to say it was an excellent wine.
"Of course, the photo really shouldn't affect your judgement because it tells you nothing about the wine. In one of our studies, people actually got to taste the wine, and the presence of photos made them more likely to say the wines tasted better," said Cardwell.
Trivially-related photos could also shape people's memories. Participants saw a list of unfamiliar animal names, and were asked to give food to some animals and take food away from others. A few minutes later, people saw the same list again, but this time some of the names appeared with a photo of the animal.
When asked to remember if they gave food to each animal, people were more likely to say they had performed the action if they saw a photo. "The really interesting thing is that in all of these experiments the photos led people to think the positive version of the claims were true that wines were good, or that they had given animals food," said Cardwell.
"The findings might seem surprising, but they actually make a lot of sense, because we know that when people can easily conjure up thoughts and images about something, they actually feel more positive about that thing," she said. "We think that's how photos swayed people's judgments in our experiments, and why they did so only for positive claims."