Kim and Kim learned more about how viewing art influences how we think. They found that “artistic cues lead participants to consider more abstract features than concrete features. . . . The activated abstract mindset trigged by artistic cues can provoke prosocial choice.” Prosocial thinking is focused on the welfare of other people. More information on Kim and Kim’s findings: “exposure to artistic (vs. nonartistic) cues, promotes an abstract (vs. concrete) mindset. . . . concrete thoughts [relate] to objective, observable, and subordinate information regarding the stimuli (e.g., color, composition, material, size, arrangement, and any physical traits of the stimulus) . . . abstract thoughts, [relate] to less observable and superordinate information based on participants’ interpretations of the stimuli (e.g., emotion, usage, genre, general understanding, subjective judgment, or interpretation).” During the data collection process, study participants viewed either Magritt’s painting titled “Personal Values” or Kandinsky’s painting titled “Yellow-Red-Blue.” The “nonart” presented to study participants was an image of mundane objects similar to those in the Magritt painting. They included, for example a blue glass cup as the painting does.
Dooie Kim and Sang-Hoon Kim. 2018. “Art Beyond Art’s Sake: The Influence of Artistic Cues on Prosocial Choice.” Empirical Studies of the Arts, vol. 36, no. 1, pp. 22-40, DOI: 10.1177/0276237416689663