Cotter and team’s research adds to our understanding of human beings’ preference for curved items. They report that “A preference for smooth curvature, as opposed to angularity, is a well-established finding for lines, two-dimensional shapes, and complex objects. . . . We [found that] people preferred curved over angular stimuli. . . . For one stimulus set—the irregular polygons. . . . People with more knowledge about the arts . . . showed greater curvature preferences, as did people higher in openness to experience. . . .
Schloss and Palmer investigated why people tend to prefer particular colors. Their findings align with common sense: “There are well-known and extensive differences in color preferences between individuals . . . there are also within-individual differences from one time to another. . . . they have the same underlying cause: people’s . . . experiences with color-associated objects and events. . . . preference for a given color is determined by the combined valence (liking/disliking) of all objects and events associated with that color.”
Nielsen and her team investigated the sorts of art preferred by hospital patients. They determined that patients “primarily ranked items to favor figurative art painted in light colors.”
Stine Nielsen, Michael Mullins, Lars Fich, and Kirsten Roessler. 2017. “The Significance of Certain Elements in Art for Patients’ Experience and Use.” Visual Anthropology, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 310-327.
Doing good can look good
Choice depends on professional training
The last place can be a good place
National culture affects room design desires
Gaze direction in portraits key
Research by Silvia and his team confirms that people prefer shiny objects to matte ones. Silvia and colleagues share that “Researchers in the evolutionary aesthetics tradition have suggested that people prefer shiny objects because glossiness connotes water. We . . . present an experiment that manipulated the glossiness of metal objects. Young adults . . . viewed silver coins that were either dull or in ‘brilliant uncirculated’ condition as well as copper cylinders that were either rough and tarnished, polished with a brushed surface, or polished with a mirror finish.
Harris Poll, on behalf of Sherwin-Williams, conducted the National Painting Week Color Psychology Study, collecting information from 2,201people over age 18 via an online survey. Among the interesting findings: “62 percent of Americans select[ed] blue as one of the colors they like most. The strong preference for blue is consistent across genders, regions and age. Many Americans also said they associate blue with calmness (45 percent). . . .The color black is the second-most popular color (32 percent), followed by red (31 percent). . . .