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Image has a number of uses in psychology.
Image as likeness
Images may be two dimensional, such as a photograph, or three dimensional such as in a statue. They are typically produced by optical devices—such as a cameras, mirrors, lenses, telescopes, microscopes, etc. and natural objects and phenomena, such as the human eye or water surfaces.
The word image is also used in the broader sense of any two-dimensional figure such as a map, a graph, a pie chart, or an abstract painting. In this wider sense, images can also be produced manually, such as by drawing, painting, carving, by computer graphics technology, or a combination of the two, especially in a pseudo-photograph.
A volatile image is one that exists only for a short period of time. This may be a reflection of an object by a mirror, a projection of a camera obscura, or a scene displayed on a cathode ray tube. A fixed image, also called a hardcopy, is one that has been recorded on a material object, such as paper or textile.
Image as experienced by the sensory apparatus
In a more technical sense an image is an optical representation of an object on the retina of the eye. It can also be applied to aural images. For example, Sigmund Freud claimed to have dreamt purely in aural-images of dialogues. The development of synthetic acoustic technologies and the creation of sound art have led to a consideration of the possibilities of a sound-image comprised of irreducible phonic substance beyond linguistic or musicological analysis.
Image as mental image in the absence of the thing itself
A mental image exists in someone's mind: something one remembers or imagines. The subject of an image need not be real; it may be an abstract concept, such as a graph, function, or "imaginary" entity.
Images as public presentation
Individuals and organization try to control their public image for example through impression management.
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