Order and Complexity and Preference (11-15-19)

Van Geert and Wagemans researched how image order and complexity are related to preference for images. They “explored which factors might contribute to aesthetic preferences for . . . images of a set of objects, or parts of objects, organized in a neatly or tidy way. . . Images high in order and high in complexity were perceived as more fascinating, whereas images high in order but low in complexity were perceived as more soothing. . . . In general, images of neatly organized compositions were perceived as pleasant to look at. . . . both soothingness and fascination seemed to relate positively with aesthetic preferences [so greater levels of soothingness and of fascination were linked to higher preference].”  Ratings of order, complexity, fascination, and soothingness were all perceptions of study participants.  The researchers “define objective complexity as aspects related to the quantity and variety of information in the stimulus, and objective order as aspects related to the structure and organization of the information in the stimulus (Van Geert & Wagemans, 2019).”

Eline Van Geert and Johan Wagemans.  “Order, Complexity, and Aesthetic Preferences for Neatly Organized Compositions.”  Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, in press, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/aca0000276