Art

Evaluating and Using Art (06-14-16)

Research by Lauring and his team confirms that multiple factors influence evaluations of art and that art has a special, social role.  They found that when participants in their study “were primed [i.e., led to think] that a certain social group (fellow students, art museum curators/art experts, or low-education/income youth) had rated the painting positively or negatively (social prime, . . .) or with a fictitious sales price of the artwork (monetary prime) . . . . Paintings with high monetary primes or with high ratings by peers and art experts led to higher participant liking ratings.

Sculpture and Food Consumption (05-13-16)

Research indicates that seeing certain sorts of sculptures influences what we eat.  Stampfli and Brunner share that previous studies have determined that seeing “Thin, human-like sculptures by the artist Alberto Giacometti . . . facilitate[s] dieting by reducing chocolate intake and promoting healthy snack choices. . . . [In this study, however] the sculptures reduced chip intake only when the participants liked the chips. The sculptures could thus exert their influence when individuals were motivated to eat and the dieting cues were useful.”

Varying Aesthetic Evaluations (03-30-16)

Pearce and his team carefully detail variations in aesthetic evaluations across time and place, indicating how experiences have, and will, differ.  For example, “in non-Western societies, aesthetics generally encompasses a broader range of activities and objects than in Western societies, and it is more closely related to the communication of spiritual, ethical, and philosophical meaning than in the Western tradition. . . .

Art Preferences (03-17-16)

Friedrich and Elias’s recent work confirms that people whose native languages are read left to right prefer art in which any apparent motion is also from left-to-right.  The researchers “examined aesthetic preferences in native Hindi (left-to-right) and Urdu (right-to-left) readers. These groups share extralinguistic and linguistic similarities, as well as a common geographical location and cultural foundation, reducing the potential influence of confounding cultural differences on aesthetic preference biases. Participants viewed mirror-imaged pairs of [images] . . .

Kids and Art (03-01-16)

How do children respond to abstract art?  Nissel and her team report that “recent research has shown that even adults with no training in art can distinguish works by abstract expressionists from superficially similar works by children and even elephants, monkeys, and apes.”  Nissel, Hawley-Dolan and Winner determined that “even 4-7-year-olds can distinguish works by artists from superficially similar works by children and animals when there are no labels to guide them. . . .

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