In and out, & up and down: Camera perspectives and perceived truthfulness
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This dissertation examined how the angle/perspective of a video camera affects how people judge the credibility of others. First, the baseline levels or the 'natural' credibility of the stories told by stimulus subjects in the ensuing studies were established. Then Study 1 investigated the effect of camera angle and shot on judgments of credibility. Participants were randomly selected in one of six condition; three camera angles (e.g., eye-level, high-, and low-angle) and three camera zoom shots (e.g., extreme close-up, close-up, and medium shot) and rated their perception of personality traits and truthfulness of the speaker. Study 2 examined if the effects of camera angle and shot on credibility are affected by a non-native English speaker (e.g., English as a second language speaker). Study 3 replicated the procedure of the first study in a different cultural and language group (e.g., Korea) to examine if the findings are generalized in a different culture. Results of Study 1 showed that a high-credibility story of a male speaker turned significantly lower when the speaker was presented in the low-angle video image compared to the eye-level video image. Results of Study 2 showed that a high-credibility story of a female speaker turned significantly higher when the speaker was presented in the low-angle video image compared to the high-angle video image, and that a low-credibility story of a male speaker was judged as significantly more truthful in the extremely close-up shot than the medium shot condition. Results of Study 3 showed that the perception of personality traits varied by camera angles and shots without having an impact on judgments of credibility. Overall, there was no completely consistent support for the effects of formal features of media on credibility. However, results of this project reveal some support for the idea that camera angle and shot could have could serve as an enhancer in making attributions of others including credibility assessments. Study limitations and implications are discussed.