The Vienna Art Interest and Art Knowledge Questionnaire (VAIAK): A Unified and Validated Measure of Art Interest and Art Knowledge

Eva Specker, Michael Forster, Hanna Brinkmann, Jane Boddy, Matthew Pelowski, Raphael Rosenberg, Helmut Leder

Being interested in art and having knowledge about art are arguably central dimensions in art experience and

two of the most important individual differences when assessing how people process or respond to art.

Nonetheless, there is to date no reliable and validated measure of these dimensions. In this paper, we present

the Vienna Art Interest & Art Knowledge Questionnaire (VAIAK) as a tool for researchers to measure both

art interest and knowledge of their participants in studies involving visual art. In a 3-stage validation process,

we first developed the questionnaire. Second, we pretested it qualitatively and quantitatively with a sample of

lay people as well as art history students and art professionals. Finally, we conducted a large-scale validation study (600 participants) with both lay people (psychology students) and art history students, where we present evidence regarding relations to other variables and internal structure as well as the ability to discriminate between relative lay people and experts. Our results show evidence for the reliability of the VAIAK scores as well as evidence for the validity as a measure of both art interest and art knowledge in (scientific) research, while at the same time also providing important clarification and differentiation between the two dimensions. With this new questionnaire, we offer a tool for researchers in empirical aesthetics, creativity, and also applied fields to quantify one or both of the art interest and art knowledge dimensions.

Department of Art History, Department of Cognition, Emotion, and Methods in Psychology
Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Publication date
Peer reviewed
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
501001 General psychology, 501030 Cognitive science, 501004 Differential psychology
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