Photographs, Altered

Kevin Cochran*, Lawrence Patihis, Steven Frenda, Tayopa Mogilner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Altered photographs have been manipulated, either digitally or manually, in order to change the content of the photographic image. The alteration of photographs. has occurred since shortly after the invention of the permanent photograph in the early 19th century, although its prevalence has increased with the advent of photo manipulation software. An altered, or "doctored," photograph can be a particularly insidious means of deception because people tend to perceive photographs as highly credible, accurate representations of people and events. The very existence of a photograph of an event, then, can be taken as evidence that the event truly occurred. Photographs are often used as proof that an event occurred, both in the media and in legal settings. Photographs are doctored for many reasons, ranging from achieving political gain to altering one's physical appearance to editing out minor background details in order to improve the photographic composition. Research on altered photographs has suggested that viewing doctored images can influence peoples' preferences, attitudes, and even memories of past events.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Deception
EditorsTimothy R. Levine
PublisherSAGE Publications Inc.
ISBN (Print)9781452258775
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


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