Digital Beauty

Perception and Estimation of Retouched

This thesis sets out to explore whether the socially desired quality of “being successful” correlates with the artificial beauty of digitally enhanced pictures. Furthermore, it investigates the question whether people are able to detect manipulated images. An online survey has been conducted in which images that had previously been manipulated to varying degrees were compared. In the first part of the survey the photographed individuals got assessed in terms of whether or not they were thought to be “successful”. In the second part, the participants of the survey had to recognize the original image out of four versions of the same image. The results show that slightly optimized faces are considered more successful than real faces. Heavily retouched faces were classified as less successful than the original faces. Moreover, it was also found that most people are not able to distinctly detect a real face in direct comparison between a real and a manipulated one. (Velislav Markov)

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