See me, feel me!

Author(s)
Helmut Leder, Anita Ring, Stefan G. Dressler
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.

Organisation(s)
Department of Cognition, Emotion, and Methods in Psychology
Journal
Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts
Volume
7
Pages
358-369
ISSN
1931-3896
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1037/a0033311
Publication date
11-2013
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
501026 Psychology of perception
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/see-me-feel-me(44334826-ffce-451d-8a78-fc8cc53c0ac4).html