Exploring aesthetic experiences of females

Author(s)
Manuela Marin, Helmut Leder
Abstract

Empirical studies testing Berlyne's (1971) psychobiological model have led to conflicting results, and individual differences have been proposed as a possible explanation. We explored whether top-down influences related to personality may play a role and studied how affect-related personality traits are related to complexity and arousal responses. Two hundred and six females rated either affective environmental scenes, environmental scenes converted into cartoons, or representational paintings (Study 1). Another group of 77 females rated excerpts of piano music (Study 2). We assessed trait emotional intelligence (EI), stress reactivity (SR), empathy (Study 1), emotional self-efficacy (Study 2) as well as engagement with art and music. Linear mixed-effects modelling revealed that affect-related traits emerged as significant predictors in all visual complexity and arousal models, except for the complexity model of environmental scenes. SR predicted arousal induced by environmental scenes, but not by cartoons and paintings, for which an interaction between trait EI and empathy was found. Musical sophistication predicted musical complexity, and the complexity and arousal models comprised interactions between trait EI, SR and emotional self-efficacy. Affect-related traits should be integrated into arousal-based theories of aesthetic experiences, and their impact on perceived complexity and felt arousal varies across stimulus categories.

Organisation(s)
Department of Cognition, Emotion, and Methods in Psychology
External organisation(s)
Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck
Journal
Personality and Individual Differences
Volume
125
Pages
80-90
ISSN
0191-8869
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2017.12.027
Publication date
01-2018
Peer reviewed
Yes
Austrian Fields of Science 2012
501011 Cognitive psychology, 501026 Psychology of perception, 501001 General psychology
Portal url
https://ucris.univie.ac.at/portal/en/publications/exploring-aesthetic-experiences-of-females(a8b19225-fd9a-4208-91d3-c0678f85210b).html