See me, feel me!

Subtitle:Aesthetic evaluations of art portraits.
Authors/others:Leder, Helmut; Ring, Anita; Dressler, Stefan G.
Abstract:Aesthetic experiences comprise aesthetic emotions as well as those cognitive states that are reflected in judgments of aesthetic liking (Leder, Belke, Oeberst, & Augustin, 2004). In Study 1, we examined whether aesthetic liking and emotional valence of artistic portraits are influenced in different ways by several factors. We analyzed ratings given to more than 400 portraits. Participants were asked to rate the likability of the depicted person, an evaluation of the portrait’s style, elicited arousal, interestingness, emotional valence, aesthetic liking, and familiarity. Likability showed particularly strong effects on liking and emotional valence. Study 2 further explored differences in the determinants of art appreciation through levels of expertise; art experts showed enhanced aesthetic pleasure and style appreciation turned out to be particularly important. For nonexperts, likability and style had similar influence. To differentiate the effects of style and content more directly, in Study 3 we asked for an explicit subjective weight of how much style and content affected aesthetic liking for each portrait. Results showed that style was more important. Thus, as expected from psychological theories of aesthetic experiences, both content and appreciation of the artists’ style represented distinct influential dimensions of aesthetic experiences.
Date of publication:11.2013
Journal title:Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Peer reviewed:true
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Publication Type:Article