Subject Matter and Art Preferences (04-15-19)

Levitan, Winfield, and Sherman evaluated responses to representational visual art and found, not surprisingly, that people prefer paintings whose subject matter they like.  The Levitan team reports that “Prior research has demonstrated that color preferences are driven by preferences for objects associated with those colors (e.g., that the sky is blue or that feces are brown influences preferences for blue and brown; Palmer & Schloss, 2010). . . . Our work demonstrates that, despite the seeming subjectivity of art preferences, subject matter significantly influences the formation of preferences. . . . art preferences can be, at least partially, predicted by one’s preferences for the objects depicted in the art.”  

Carmel Levitan, Emily Winfield, and Aleksandra Sherman.  “Grumpy Toddlers and Dead Pheasants:  Visual Art Preferences Are Predicted by Preferences for the Depicted Objects.”  Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, in press,